After Virginia won the National Championship on Monday night, ESPN’s John Gasaway ranked every team (81 teams) that have ever won a title. NC State’s 1974 national championship team ranked as the 10th best championship team of all-time, and the 1983 team ranked 69th.
10. NC State Wolfpack, 1974 (30-1)
David Thompson, Tom Burleson, Monte Towe and the Wolfpack did what no team had been able to do for eight years: Norm Sloan’s men beat Wooden and UCLA in double overtime 80-77 in the national semifinal before triumphing over Marquette in the title game. Remarkably, the 6-foot-4 Thompson averaged 26 points and shot 55 percent from the field (all 2-pointers, of course) as a junior despite playing during an era when dunks were prohibited.
69. NC State Wolfpack, 1983 (26-10)
Everyone remembers the final seconds of the final game, but what Jim Valvano did just to get his team that far was incredible enough. NC State probably wouldn’t have received a bid if it hadn’t won the ACC tournament, and in the NCAA tournament Valvano’s men advanced by margins of 2, 1, 19, 1 and 7 points, respectively. Facing overwhelming favorite Houston and its Phi Slama Jama lineup of Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and Michael Young, Valvano slowed the game down all the way to the 40th minute. That’s when NC State’s Dereck Whittenburg air-balled a 30-footer that Lorenzo Charles was able to catch and dunk. Never give up.ESPN
Photo Credit: NC State Media Guide