So Kennedy and his staff had to come up with a game plan, in just one practice, to take on All-America center Alonzo Mourning and the Hoyas without their own playmaker at point guard.
The solution was brilliant.
Kennedy opened the game against the perennial NCAA powerhouse Georgetown with young guard Bob Sura covering the towering Mourning. Kennedy put Sura in Mourning's face every time he came down the court and used reserve center Andre Reid's 7-0 frame to double team him when he did get the ball inside. The strategy worked beautifully holding the star to just one point in the first half and 14 for the game. The Seminoles beat the Hoyas by an identical 78-68 score and were headed to the Sweet 16.
The NCAA had arranged a chartered flight, which was exceptionally rare for the Seminoles in those days, for FSU to make the off-the-beaten-path trip to Boise. Spring break began for campus after the huge Georgetown win and with a game at altitude in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Sweet 16 next on the agenda, the FSU staff elected to redirect the charter straight to the southwest to prepare for the next game.
The Seminoles would land in a rocking Albuquerque since New Mexico State had advanced to the same site and tickets were in high demand. The atmosphere got even more intense once FSU's opponent, the Indiana Hoosiers - again, landed. Head coach Bobby Knight brought a bull whip to his team's first practice and a playful exchange with his star player blew up all over the press and landed the match-up on everyone's front page.
Charlie Ward had been cleared to play, but had very limited motion in his left shoulder and wore a strap that limited him even more. He would not start the game and was not very effective over his 26 minutes of play. Despite this, FSU and Indiana played a classic first half that ended with the Hoosier's clinging to a 40-38 lead. IU came on strong in the second half and ended FSU's second most successful season ever with an 85-74 win.