#2 1984 vs #3 1987
Starters and Bench
|Michael Jordan||SG||Jeff Lebo
|Matt Doherty||SF||J.R. Reid
|Sam Perkins||PF||Dave Popson
|Brad Daugherty||C||Joe Wolf
This would constitute the first real heavyweight match-up of the tournament. Here you have two teams that lost a total of seven games, won 60 and went 28-0 in ACC regular season play. 1984 concluded the season with an upset loss to Indiana in the Sweet Sixteen while 1987 fell in the Elite Eight to Syracuse on a day Jeff Lebo went 0-5 from three. The way their respective seasons ended do not do justice to how good these teams were for most of the season.
So what happens when these two teams meet? The rosters still say 1984 has an edge because Michael Jordan was the national player of the year and with apologies to guards on the 1987 team, it seems unlikely anyone would be able to stop him. The same is probably true for 1984's interior game versus 1987. The latter has solid players but nothing that equals Brad Daugherty and Sam Perkins. The intriguing match-up comes at point guard. Senior Kenny Smith playing for 1987 versus freshman Kenny Smith on the 1984 team. Chances are the elder Smith gets the upper hand.
In the end, 1984 was a highly experienced team with three players who had been together for three season and won a title. That may be more of an edge than anything else.