Our message forums found this article on ESPN’s today discussing how some of the relevant college basketball programs in the year 2012 were also quite prominent in the late 1980s – like NC State, Indiana, Michigan, Louisville, Arizona, Syracuse, Duke Kansas, and UNLV.
The piece says the following about the Wolfpack:
Why they loved the late ’80s: Jim Valvano racing across the court to celebrate NC State’s 1983 NCAA title is one of the most famous images in college basketball history. But the fun didn’t end there. The Wolfpack reached the Elite Eight in 1985 and 1986 thanks to players such as Vinny Del Negro. One year later, NC State won the ACC tournament — a feat the program hasn’t repeated since. Valvano’s squad also captured the league’s regular-season title in 1988-89 behind Rodney Monroe, Tom Gugliotta and Chris Corchiani. The Pack hasn’t won one since.
Why they’ll love this season: NC State squeaked into the NCAA tournament last spring and then capitalized by advancing to the Sweet 16, nearly upsetting Kansas. Virtually every key player from that team returns, including future NBA draft picks C.J. Leslie (forward) and Lorenzo Brown (point guard). Second-year coach Mark Gottfried also signed one of the country’s top recruiting classes, led by guard Rodney Purvis. As a result, State is the ACC preseason favorite for the first time in nearly 40 years.
If this entry makes you a little sentimental of the past then I suggestion you take a moment and check out our archive of “Tags” linked here. You will note that we have quite a few tags for different – including many in the decade of the 1980s.
I ran across this specific entry that I thought would be a great complement to this entry — Remember the 80s – A Golden Era of ACC Basketball.
I was chatting with a UNC fan colleague yesterday, who is also a world-class ACC historian (could have a great conversation with SFN commenter noah). He has an extensive game collection, and recently acquired tape of the first State/Carolina matchup in 1984. You may remember that as the year the Wolfpack opened with a repeat upset of again #1 Houston…and it went rapidly downhill from there. The Pack finished 4-10 in ACC play, and IIRC, lost to Florida State in the first round of the NIT. What I did not remember was how very good the ACC was that season. Virginia was the #6 seed (out of EIGHT, remember) in the ACCT, but made the Final Four, losing to Houston in OT. Wake Forest finished at .500 in league play, but made the regional final (also losing to Houston, by a mere 5 points).
One of my fondest wishes is for the ACC to start its own “classic” channel or series, or put out a DVD set with highlights and full games from ACC play in the 1980s. For the Wolfpack fan, this would include the 4OT game against Wake, the 1987 ACCT run, and of course, 1983.
Please share your own memories below (I would love more details on the regional final runs by the Pack in 1985 and 1986), and answer these 1980s ACC trivia questions:
- Name the Wolfpack starting five in the first game against UNC in 1984 (I got 3 correct).
- How many ACC teams qualified for either the NCAAT or NIT in 1985?
- Who was the last ACC team to go winless in league play, and in what year did they do it?
- Three ACC teams made the regional finals in 1985, but all 3 lost to Big East foes. Name the ACC teams and their corresponding Big East opponents.
The 150 RESPONSES to that entry will feed your thirst for great ACC Basketball talk for a long time!!!