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No one player is more responsible for carrying his team to a national championship than Kansas' Danny Manning was in 1988.
Although Larry Brown gave the Jayhawks a coaching advantage, they were not laden with talent on the court.
They lost 11 games during the regular season, finished third in the Big Eight and figured to have no chance to advance far in the NCAA tournament as a No. 6 seed.
Manning scored 25 points with 10 rebounds in a 66-59 victory over No. 2-seeded Duke in the semifinals. But it was his effort in the finals against No. 1-seeded and heavily favored Oklahoma that pushed him to No. 3 on our list of Final Four performances.
The Sooners had beaten Kansas twice during the season and had three players who would become first-round draft choices. Two of those first-rounders, 6'11" Stacey King and 6'8" Harvey Grant, figured to make things difficult in the paint for the 6'11" Manning.
Manning came up with 31 points, 18 rebounds, five steals and two blocks in the Jayhawks' stunning 83-79 victory.
The team was dubbed Danny and Miracles for Manning's part in the surprising run to a national title.
Kansas teammate Scooter Barry told the Lawrence Journal-World:
Everybody else says it’s a perfect name. Danny always says, ‘It wasn’t me. It was all of us.’ Everybody knows he and coach (Larry) Brown carried the weight of the team. With their experience and ability to communicate and take over games...it gave us the opportunity to be in position to win.