March 27, 1979 A1

Michigan State, its "Magic act" playing to full potential, won its first-ever NCAA national basketball championship Monday night at the University of Utah's Special Events center.

Paced by Earvin "Magic" Johnson's 24-point, five assist performance, the Big 10 champion Spartans toppled previously unbeaten Indiana State 75-64. A sellout crowd of 15,410 was on hand in the Special Events Center and more than 40 million watched around the nation via television.

"The Magic Man directed the show," said Michigan State coach Jud Heathcoate among the raucous postgame celebrating. And Johnson had quite a supporting cast. Greg Kelser scored 19 and had nine assists, and Terry Donnelly was a perfect five for five from the floor en route to 15 points.

Indiana State's bid for a perfect 34-0 season was flattened in the face of this kind of MSU talent, particularly because superstar Larry Bird had a rare off night, hitting on a third of his shots and scoring 10 points below his scoring average with 19 total.