36 years ago today, the Cardiac Pack won the 1983 NCAA Championship against highly favored Houston.
Below is the full writeup from the NC State Media Guide:
NC State’s second national championship was as unexpected as its first was anticipated. The 1983 Wolfpack, head coach Jim Valvano’s third NC State team, was a veteran unit with a gifted backcourt in seniors Sidney Lowe and Dereck Whittenburg, and an All-America candidate at forward in senior Thurl Bailey. Although expectations were high that NC State could return to national prominence
in 1983, few expected anyone from the ACC other than Virginia and North Carolina to contend for the national championship.
The Wolfpack, coming off a 22-10 season the year before, got off to a strong start. The Pack won seven of its first nine games, heading into a January 12 game at Reynolds against Virginia. UVa had won five straight from the Wolfpack prior to that meeting.
The season turned when Whittenburg, who had scored 27 first-half points and led the Pack to a 16-point lead late in the first half against the Cavaliers, broke his right foot when he landed wrong on the foot of a UVa player early in the second half. Not only did the Wolfpack let a big lead slip away and absorb its sixth consecutive loss to the Cavaliers, but team doctors informed Valvano after the game that Whittenburg was lost for the season.
Following Whittenburg’s injury, NC State lost three of its first four games. Then, the tide began to turn. The Wolfpack won eight of its next 10 and began to pull back together as a unit. At 16-8 with three regular-season games remaining, things were looking up again. Whittenburg, recovering faster than expected, was cleared to return to the lineup.
He reappeared against the Cavaliers in Charlottesville, and though the Wolfpack lost, the season began to turn again. The Pack finished the regular season 17-10 following a 130- 89 win over Wake Forest in the final game.
SURVIVE AND ADVANCE
Throughout the postseason, Valvano implored his team to stay close every game and put itself in a position to win at the end. “Survive and advance,” Valvano would say, and the Wolfpack took his words to heart with last-minute wins over Wake Forest, North Carolina and Virginia to capture the ACC Tournament title.
The Pack was sent to Corvallis, Ore., for the NCAA West Regionals and a first-round date against Pepperdine. NC State missed its first 12 shots from the field against the Waves, but recovered and managed to force a 47-47 tie at the end of regulation. After Pepperdine built a six-point cushion with less than a minute to play in the first overtime period, it appeared the Wolfpack’s season was slipping away.
Miraculously, the Wolfpack was able to cut the lead to two after Dane Suttle, an 84 percent free-throw shooter, missed the front ends of two one-and-ones. After Whittenburg missed a free throw, Cozell McQueen grabbed the rebound and threw in an incredible off-balance shot from eight feet to send the game into double overtime. NC State went on to a 69-67 victory in the second overtime, and the push toward Albuquerque had begun.
Sixth-ranked UNLV was up next, and after falling behind 52- 40 with 11:40 to play, the Wolfpack went on a run. Bailey hit a jumper with 37 seconds left to cut the lead to 70-69, and after Vegas missed the front end of a one-and-one, he was able to hit a fadeaway bank shot with four seconds to play for a 71-70 win.
NC State cruised to a 75-56 win over Utah in the regional semifinal matchup, setting up another meeting with Virginia in the regional final. Whittenburg continued his sparkling long-range bombing, and the Pack stayed close throughout. Virginia owned a 62-61 lead, when Sampson fouled Lorenzo Charles with 23 seconds remaining. Charles made both free throws, and the Pack was headed to the Final Four.
THE FINAL FOUR
Houston vs. Louisville was the headliner game in the first round of the Final Four, a game most people said would really decide the national championship. But while much of the basketball world awaited the Cougars and Cardinals, Jim Valvano and his Wolfpack came to Albuquerque and stole the show, on and off the court. Valvano, glib and mercurial on his feet, immediately stole the media spotlight, taking the pressure off his team, which faced 18th-ranked Georgia in the other semifinal matchup. The Wolfpack smoked the Bulldogs, building an 18-point lead with less than five minutes to play before hanging on for a 67-60 win that sent NC State into its second national championship game in nine years.
When Houston destroyed Louisville in the other semifinal game, the NC State-Houston game was viewed as a major mismatch by the national media, though the Wolfpack had won four games against top 10 teams (North Carolina, Virginia twice, and UNLV) in the month of March.
Houston hoped to control the game with its superior front line, led by All-Americans Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. The Wolfpack game plan was simple – control the tempo with its peerless guard play. Lowe played all 40 minutes, scored eight points, had eight assists, five steals and no turnovers. He dominated the game from the backcourt. Whittenburg played 39 outstanding minutes, hit six long-range bombs, scored 14 points and had five rebounds. Bailey and McQueen, meanwhile, helped tighten the defense on Olajuwon. Bailey delivered 15 points and five rebounds, and McQueen added four points and 12 rebounds.
The Pack forced the action in the first half and held a 33-25 lead at halftime, but Houston charged back after intermission and took 42-35 advantage following a 17-2 run. The Pack was once again searching for a miracle.
Turnovers and several missed free throws allowed the Wolfpack to tie the game at 52-52 with 1:59 to play, and after Houston missed the front end of a one-and-one with 1:05 to play, NC State worked the clock to the 44-second mark and called a timeout.
Valvano wanted to hold the ball until 10 seconds remained, and then have Lowe penetrate in hopes of creating a shot. Instead, State wound up with Whittenburg launching a wild shot from 30 feet. When the shot came up short, Charles was there to grab the rebound and slam it home as time expired to give the Wolfpack a 54-52 win and its second national championship.
NC State Media Guide
For the second time in less than a decade, the state of North Carolina celebrated a Wolfpack national championship, and this time, the entire country was captivated thanks to the charismatic Valvano and the manner in which his determined team of underdogs slayed one Goliath after another in the month of March.
The famous buzzer beater…
Check out the FULL GAME below.
NC State Makes Top-10 for Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier
George Mason Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier (6’4″/197) included NC State in his list of Final 10 schools.
— Andrew Slater (@Andrew__Slater) April 13, 2020
Kier was granted a fifth year of eligibility after missing all but 9 games last season due to injury. He was expected to arguably be George Mason’s best returning player next year, averaging 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds, earning All-Atlantic 10 2nd Team honors.
NC State Reaches Out to UAB Transfer Makhtar Guyer
According to Rivals’ Corey Evans, NC State has reached out to UAB Transfer Forward Makhtar Guyer (6’10″/210), after he announced he was transferring on Friday.
Virginia Tech has offered UAB transfer Makhtar Guyer, he tells @RivalsPortal.
Georgetown, Miami, Mississippi State, NC State and San Diego State have reached out since his transfer yesterday. @Hokie_Haven
— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) April 11, 2020
— Makhtar Gueye (@Thelionkilla) April 11, 2020
Guyer has one year of eligibility remaining. Last year as a Junior at UAB, Guyer averaged 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds, starting in 27 of 31 games.
NC State Accepts Recommendation to Move Case to IARP
NC State has accepted the recommendation to move their violation’s case from the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.
“We’ve stated throughout this process that NC State will accept accountability for any shortcomings and defend ourselves aggressively where we feel it is appropriate and necessary to do so,” Woodson wrote in a statement released by the school on Wednesday. “As our response to the Referral Petition demonstrates, we do not think NC State can receive an objective or fair hearing before the Committee on Infractions in this matter. We believe the only remaining option is that our case be moved to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.
“NC State has a long history of working cooperatively with the NCAA, and we remain committed to working collaboratively through the IARP to address concerns and to resolve this matter as fairly and efficiently as possible.” (WRAL)
The IARP is made up of decision makers that are investigators and legal advocates that are independent of any NCAA teams.
The difference between the traditional process, and the IARP, is that the latter’s decision is final, unable to be appealed.
Vote For NC State Men’s Basketball Fans in Fox College Hoops 64-Team Bracket
In the absence of the NCAA Tournament, Fox College Hoops has created a 64-team bracket to determine the best fanbase of Men’s Basketball teams.
They determined 60 of the contestants based of the Men’s Basketball teams with the most Twitter followers. The final four were determined by the highest rated teams not yet selected according to the NET Rankings.
You: So how does this #FOXFanVote thing work?
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) April 5, 2020
The winner of each matchup is determined by fan vote, obviously.
NC State’s Men’s Basketball fans were given a #8 seed in the East Bracket.
The winner of the bracket, will earn quite a gift. Fox College Hoops will place a billboard of that team in close proximity to their rival.
Go ahead and vote for NC State to beat Alabama in the 1st round right now.