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History and Records

GoPack Lists Top Games in Carter-Finley History



With the 50th anniversary of Carter Finley being celebrated this Saturday at home against Notre Dame, has completed its list of the top games in Carter-Finley’s history. The article is broken up in 5 parts based on years. Be sure to check the links below to relive some of your favorite memories from Carter-Finley (each game has a pretty decent write-up.)

Part 1: 1966-75
NC State 42, Virginia 21, Oct. 29, 1966
NC State 13, North Carolina 7, Sept. 16, 1967
NC State 12, Penn State 7, Nov. 9, 1974
NC State 8, Florida 7, Sept. 20, 1975

Part 2: 1975-86
NC State 27, Indiana 0, Oct. 4, 1975
NC State 24, Maryland 20, Oct. 1, 1977
Penn State 9, NC State 6, Nov. 10, 1979
NC State 28, Duke 7, Nov. 17, 1979
NC State 27, Clemson 3, Oct. 25, 1986

Part 3: 1986-97
NC State 23, South Carolina 22, Nov. 1, 1986
NC State 43, Duke 43, Sept. 1988
NC State 28, Georgia Tech 21, Oct. 5, 1991
State 24, Duke 23, Nov. 15, 1994
NC State 37, East Carolina 24, Nov. 22, 1997

Part 4: 1998-2003
NC State 24, Florida State 7, Sept. 12, 1998
NC State 38, Syracuse 17, Oct. 1, 1998
NC State 30, Georgia Tech 23 (OT), Sept. 21, 2000
NC State 17, Florida State 7, Nov. 23, 2002
NC State 51, Virginia 37, Nov. 1, 2003

Part 5: 2004-Present
NC State 30, East Carolina 24 (OT), Sept. 20, 2008
NC State 28, Florida State 24, 17, Oct. 28, 2010
NC State 37, Clemson 13, Nov. 19, 2011
NC State 56, Maryland 41, Nov. 26, 2011
NC State 17, Florida State 16, Oct. 6, 2012

Pack fans, which games do you think is the greatest game to every go down in Carter-Finley?

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Chris Stanley
Chris Stanley
6 years ago

I would add:

NC State 34, UVA 29 (1993)
NC State 38, Arkansas State 31 (2000, Chuck & Philip’s first game)
NC State 19, Maryland 23 (2001) – a loss, but I’ve never seen CF more electric than that night; 1 week after winning in Tally and MD had ACC title on the line.
NC State 28, UNC 27 (2009)

History and Records

NC State’s All-Time NFL Passing Leaders Headed into 2022 Season



NC State has had 7 former Quarterbacks go on to start games in the NFL. Heading into the 2022 NFL season, Russell Wilson and Jacoby Brissett are the only two former Wolfpackers currently on NFL rosters.

Below is a breakdown of where they rank in career statistical categories as Week 1 approaches.

(Realistically, the only movement I see possibly happening on the below rankings would be Brissett possibly passing Glennon in career touchdown passes, moving into 5th. With Deshaun Watson suspended for a minimum of 6 games, Brissett will start for the Browns.)

Career Passing Yards

  1. Philip Rivers – 63,440
  2. Russell Wilson – 37,059
  3. Roman Gabriel – 29,444
  4. Erik Kramer – 15,337
  5. Jacoby Brissett – 7,742
  6. Mike Glennon – 7,025
  7. Ryan Finley – 638

Career Passing Touchdowns

  1. Philip Rivers – 421
  2. Russell Wilson – 292
  3. Roman Gabriel – 201
  4. Erik Kramer – 92
  5. Mike Glennon – 47
  6. Jacoby Brissett – 36
  7. Ryan Finley – 3

Career Completions 

  1. Philip Rivers – 5,277
  2. Russell Wilson – 3,079
  3. Roman Gabriel – 2,366
  4. Erik Kramer – 1,317
  5. Jacoby Brissett – 727
  6. Mike Glennon – 689
  7. Ryan Finley – 58


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History and Records

WATCH: NC State Upsets UCLA in 1974 NCAA Tourney



We’re telling you right now…get some footage and alumni ready for this Holiday Bowl. Bill Walton is a wild dude and based on the west coast. We need Thompson awkwardly laughing as Walton eats a cupcake, candle and all, while big ol’ Burleson is talking about snapping the Bruins’ championship streak.

You also have to admit, broadcast highlights were way cooler back in the day. Jazz music? Nice tinted coloring? Just brilliant use of half speed replays? Put it in our veins.

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History and Records

A look back at NC State great Tommy Burleson, on his birthday



This article was written by Kevin E. Spencer from the North Carolina Expatriates Facebook page. He was kind enough to share it with us in hopes to have it reach NC State fans everywhere. 

Tommy Loren Burleson is born ON THIS DAY in Crossnore (population: 192) deep in the North Carolina mountains of Avery County (elevation: 3,392 ft). He will eventually grow to stand well over seven feet tall, and like most young men who rise to that height, especially in North Carolina, he plays basketball.

Tall and thin, (he’s called the “Newland Needle”) but with a knack for getting between a shooter and the basket, and a wingspan that allows him to corral rebounds and own the boards, he leads his Avery County High Vikings to an 85-8 record in his high school career.

However, nearly lost now in the bright light of Burleson’s NC State years (more about those in a moment) are the memories of Burleson and the Avery High Vikings white-hot rivalry with the Marion High Rippers.

Between 1968 and 1970, the two high schools met seven times, playing for Northwestern 3A Conference titles and facing off in the state playoffs. Those games were all sell-outs, and in the crowd for nearly every game sat Dean Smith, Norm Sloan, Bucky Waters, Lefty Driesell, Jack McCloskey, and Bill Gibson, not to mention other major college coaches, with tall Tommy being the center of attention.

On the fifth game of the series, after Burleson and Avery had won the first four straight, Marion Coach Ken Brackett decided to try something different. Avery was anchored by its 2-3 zone defense, with Tommy, of course, clogging up the middle. In practice the week before the game, Brackett has his offense go against defenders with tennis rackets to simulate Burleson’s wingspan. But more than that, he wants to force Burleson and the Vikings out of their impenetrable zone.

The result is a game still talked about by those who were there to see it. It has gone down as the “Freeze Game.” Among the other more unusual aspects of this game: both teams actually shoot 100% from the floor. The catch is, there aren’t that many shots taken.

Marion decides going in that they are going to hold the ball and force Avery out of their zone. Except Burleson and Avery refuse to come out. The result is that Marion keeps the ball down to the final seconds of each quarter, and shoots. The score is 8-8 at the half.

As the game progresses in the same manner in the second half, both teams began to chip and snipe each other. Finally, at just under 2 minutes to go, Burleson hits two free throws to put Avery ahead 12-10. Marion calls timeout, and as Marion’s Archie McIntosh and Avery’s Tom Burleson cross paths…something happens.

What exactly happens depends on which team is doing the talking. McIntosh says Burleson elbows him in the face, Burleson says McIntosh elbows him below the waist. Whichever is right, both boys are instantly flailing away, and both are ejected.

With Burleson out of the game, the Vikings abandon their 2-3 zone, and in the last two minutes, lose 16-13.

Finally breaking the stranglehold Burleson and Avery had on the series, Marion will go on to win the next two games as well. After Burleson and his core of teammates graduates, Marion will also win the eighth game of the series by a comfortable margin.

After that match, McDowell County consolidates, and Marion combines with other area high schools to become McDowell High. The classic Avery-Marion series is over, and the seven-game rivalry goes down in North Carolina High School Basketball history.

How much of that high school rivalry helped fuel the competitive fire that burned in Burleson’s heart in college only he knows, but flame it did…bright and white-hot. Tommy Burleson will go on to play center for Coach Norm Sloan and the NC State Wolfpack.

Perhaps the most under-appreciated player in ACC history, Burleson’s name is sometimes lost among Michael Jordan, David Thompson, James Worthy, Bobby Jones, Cornbread Maxwell, Phil Ford, Brad Daugherty, Nate McMillan, Walter Davis, and a hundred other North Carolina-born players. But Burleson’s contribution to State’s 1974 National Championship cannot be underestimated.

It was Burleson’s tremendous wingspan clearing out underneath the basket that allowed Monte Towe and David Thompson to work their magic, a fact shown indisputably in 1975 after Burleson graduated, and State tried to repeat their National Championship without him.

In two memorable games in the spring of 1974, he showed the world just who he really was. Tommy Burleson played his heart out against Maryland’s Len Elmore and Tom McMillen in the greatest college basketball game ever: the 1974 ACC Championship game between NC State and Maryland.

Three weeks later, in Greensboro at the Final Four, NC State went up against UCLA, winner of the last seven National Championships. UCLA was led by its center, the red-headed and opinionated Bill Walton. The previous November UCLA had handed Burleson and the Pack their only loss in two years. Playing in just their third game of the season, despite having been undefeated the year before, State came out shaky and lost by nearly 20 points. Based on that game, Walton wasn’t particularly worried about NC State….he gets off the jet in Greensboro in sandals, the epitome of Southern California rebellious cool.

Most of us know the details of that epic two-overtime game.

If you were in North Carolina, you almost certainly saw it. State down in regulation and battling back, and then down 74-67 with 3:27 left in the second overtime and again fighting back. Then the final victory as the clock ticked to zero. And if you were fortunate enough to see that game, you know Big Tommy Burleson took Bill Walton to school that day. Walton got his game handed to him.

While the statistics say they played almost to a draw, in reality, Tommy Burleson wrested the National Championship right out of Bill Walton’s hands. Tommy out-played Walton on both ends of the court. Walton may have been Southern California cool…but Tommy was a red and white-hot North Carolina State fire. Burleson dominated Walton that day, despite what Bill Walton might say today.

Burleson was never silky smooth with the basketball. I once saw him corral a defensive rebound, and not immediately seeing an outlet pass available, decide to bring the ball up himself. It wasn’t pretty…each dribble was head high to most of the other players, but he got it over the halfcourt line and into Monte Towe’s hands. At which point Norm Sloan calls timeout, brings Tommy over, puts a friendly arm around his shoulder, and tells him NEVER to do that again.

Tommy’s basketball achievements include:
– All-American at Newland and Avery high schools
– All-Atlantic Coast Conference (1972 to 1974)
– Everett Case Award as ACC Tournament MVP (1973 and 1974)
– NCAA All-American (1973 and 1974)
– All-Final Four in NCAA National Championship Tournament (1974)
– Member of 1972 U.S. Olympic Basketball Team
– drafted third overall in 1974 NBA draft
– drafted first overall by the American Basketball Association
– named to the 1974-75 NBA All-Rookie Team
– member of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame

– member of the Western North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

After basketball, Tommy returns to the mountains of Avery County. He and his wife Denise have three sons, Robert, David, and Quentin. Tommy has been the Director of Inspections and Planning for Avery County for many years now, as well as a grower and seller of Christmas trees. Deeply involved with his church, he spends part of each year doing mission work. And for more than 30 years, he has operated the Tommy Burleson Basketball Camp during July. Tommy also remains very involved with NC State…in fact, you can usually find him at most games. Perhaps the ultimate compliment: Tommy Burleson is as good a person as he was a basketball player.

Perhaps the most underrated player in ACC history, Tommy Burleson may not have been silky smooth, but during his time at State, he did what he did underneath the basket better than anybody else in the country…including Bill Walton.

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History and Records




Everett Case set the standard for the ACC, leading NC State to the first 3 conference championships (54-56). Ronnie Shavlik was arguably the most decorated player from this dynasty, but everyone knows that a great ‘big man’ is most often accompanied by a point guard that can create and get them the ball in optimal scoring situations. Some tandems are not mentioned as individual players, rather they are always remembered as a pair. For instance, rarely do you hear the name Karl Malone mentioned without the name John Stockton followed right behind it. In the case of Ronnie Shavlik, it was hard to think of the All-American center without thinking about All-American point guard Vic Molodet.

Vic Molodet was a 5’11″ point guard from East Chicago, Indiana. Molodet was the coach on the court that led the Wolfpack to three-straight ACC Championships, beginning with the 1st ever ACC Tournament in 1954. Vic played the game with a sense of flare that electrified the crowds in the early years of Reynolds Coliseum. While Shavlik might have been the focal point of the Wolfpack offense, Molodet didn’t go unnoticed by those who voted for post-season honors. Molodet earned All-ACC honors in all three of his varsity seasons, claiming 2nd team honors 1954 and 1955 and 1st team honors in 1956. Vic would go on to play one of his best performances in the ACC championship game his senior season, when he scored 32 points, taking home the tournament MVP award.

Molodet might have had a responsibility of getting Shavlik the ball in the post, but this didn’t stop the crafty point guard from putting the ball in the hoop. His career scoring average of 14.9 ranks 12th in school history, and his 1,405 career points rank 22nd, and a high percentage of those points came from the charity stripe.

In 1956, Molodet helped lead NC State to a #2 rank nationally, though they didn’t finish the year there.

After earning 1st Team All-American honors as a senior, Molodet went on to be drafted by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the the 1956 NBA draft.

Career Statistics

1954 – 13.8pts
1955 – 13.5pts
1956 – 18.2pts



2nd Team – 1954 and 1955

1st Team – 1956

All-ACC Tournament Team

2nd Team – 1955

1st Team – 1956 (MVP)

All-Dixie Classic Team

1954 and 1955


1st Team All-American (Converse) – 1956

Molodet’s #73 jersey was honored and lifted to the rafters on February 24th, 1999.

(Molodet’s #73 jersey is honored, but not retired. The only retired jersey is David Thompson’s #44.)

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