April 4, 1988 – An effortlessly graceful athlete with strength, speed and an amazing touch, Danny Manning performed in the 1988 NCAA Championship game as if he was born for the moment. He would score 31 points, grab 18 rebounds, along with five steals and two blocks. The last four points of the game came from the free-throw line in the final seconds, as the University of Kansas upset Oklahoma, 83-79, for its second NCAA title.
For his seemingly single-handed performance in propelling the underdog Jayhawks to the title, as well as the Jayhawks' less-than-impressive record going into the NCAA tournament (21-11, the most losses of any NCAA champion), the 1988 Kansas team was nicknamed "Danny and the Miracles" and Manning was honored as Most Outstanding Player in the tournament. A two-time All-American while at KU, Manning was later named the Big Eight Player of the Decade.
Danny Manning NCAA tournament average: 27.1 ppg
– Round 1 vs. Xavier 8-14, 24 points
– Round 2 vs. Murray State 10-19, 25 points
– Sweet 16 vs. Vanderbilt 16-29, 38 points, 5 rebounds (scored 25 points in the first half)
– Elite 8 vs Kansas State 10-18, 20 points (K-State had beaten Kansas in the Big 12 tournament semifinals)
– Final Four vs Duke 12-21, 25 points, 10 rebounds, 6 blocks (Blue Devils beat the Jayhawks in the regular season)
– Title Game vs Oklahoma, 13-24, 31 points, 18 rebounds, 5 steals (Sooners beat the Jayhawks twice in the regular season)
Kansas Jayhawks 1988 Improbable Run (National Champions):