ESPN: State’s ’83 Run

It’s always nice to highlight articles focused on NC State’s tradition.

Pat Forde of ESPN pulls a great one out that is focused on the 1983 run to the National Championship. (Link) Don’t be misled by the title of the piece and the first part of the article – it is about the entire 1983 march to the title; not just the ACC quarterfinal win over Wake Forest.

The scoreboard read North Carolina State 70, Wake Forest 70. Less than a minute remained in an Atlantic Coast Conference quarterfinal game that, on a Friday afternoon in March 1983, hardly augured the start of something big.

Nobody in The Omni in Atlanta could have known that the events in that final minute would alter the course of college basketball history, the course of Jim Valvano’s career — and, ultimately, the course of his impact upon society.

But before the Wolfpack coach could become everything he would become — the national championship coach, the prominent ESPN basketball analyst, the passionate orator who delivered the most famous sports speech since Lou Gehrig, the national face of the fight against cancer; Jimmy V — his team had to survive that moment.

“If we don’t win that game,” said State point guard Sidney Lowe, “we’re done.”

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13 Responses to ESPN: State’s ’83 Run

  1. HungryLikeTheWolf 03/03/2007 at 12:33 PM #

    We can do it again!

  2. packpigskinfan23 03/03/2007 at 12:39 PM #

    it would be the greatest thing in the world if this Pack team scraps up an automatic bid and trys to make a run. we did it once, why not again?! I’m not getting my hopes up or anything, but we cant say its impossible. nearly, but not totally impossible.

  3. CarnifeX 03/03/2007 at 12:51 PM #

    From the interviews I’ve read, the Pack believes that they can do it again! AND I DO TOO!!!!

    GO PACK!!

  4. tractor57 03/03/2007 at 1:22 PM #

    What really matters is that they believe! I’ll admit chances are slim but they were in ’83 also. I’m looking for some ACC Tourney damage from them then I’ll consider what’s next – as Al Davis used to say – “Just win baby”.

  5. VaWolf82 03/03/2007 at 1:52 PM #

    Anyone that compares this year’s team to the 1983 team is delusional, nearly beyond words. Whether you realize it or not, you do the ’83 team a great disservice by suggesting that “any” team can win the ACCT, regardless of the regular season results.

  6. OwenDorm83 03/03/2007 at 2:28 PM #

    If Whit doesn’t get hurt in 1983, we kick some serious butt all the way thru the season and are clearly NOT a bubble team beginning the ACC Tourney.

    Once we got on a roll, 9 folks had a chance to end the story, but couldn’t. On Saturday in Albuquerque, as they were feeling pretty good about themselves at end of game, Houston fans started chanting “We want State! We want State!” And what I told them held true: Y’all don’t want anything to do with us…”

  7. CaptainCraptacular 03/03/2007 at 3:31 PM #

    I’m not complaining about the publicity, I’m really not. But the thing that always seems glossed over in the romantic media descriptions of the run is that the ’83 team beat a top 10 UNC team twice, a top 5 UVA team twice, a #1 Houston team, and a #6 UNLV team. And a final four Georgia team.

    All told, State was 6-3 on the year vs top 10 teams, and 7-3 if you throw in Georgia. While it was certainly an upset to beat Houston, it wasn’t as big of an upset as is usually made out. Because it is made out to be such a huge upset, the national perception of those too young to remember this is that it was a miracle, and that NCState is the luckiest school to ever win a title.

    Maybe a little bit of that is true, but that ’83 team deserves to be rememberd by those outside of the school and program as more than just a team that had a massively lucky run.

  8. PapaJohn 03/03/2007 at 5:21 PM #

    This team will not be in the NCAAT, just get over that. MAYBE we’ll get to the NIT.
    At this point, two more wins would be great. That would leave us with a winning season. Hopefully this is as close as Sid ever gets to a losing season.

    Plus if we squeak into the NIT, we continue the run of post season play. That will keep the boys in the hairspray saying things like, “State had a post season run going until they fired S.”

    I think those are acheivable goals, and goals to be satisfied with considering the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

  9. Texpack 03/03/2007 at 8:58 PM #

    From a PackPride Thread.
    Might be nice to know for those who don’t have this game recorded.
    ESPN Classic will be showing the 1983 National Championship Game
    featuring the Cardiac Pack and Coach Valvano!

    Sunday March 25th, 2007 2:00am

    I would also point out that the ’83 team played Louisville a 4 point game in Freedom Hall that season before Whit got hurt. Don’t let anyone tell you that the ’83 Championship was a fluke. I watched that team intently all season, both in games and at practice, and it was a Top 10 team had Whit been healthy all season.

  10. blpack 03/03/2007 at 9:23 PM #

    Great piece by Forde and the significance of a close win over a scrappy WF team who we demolished just 6 days prior. I remember how happy I was beating Jordan and Co. for the second time on Semifinal Saturday and the feeling we were going back to the ACCT Championship game. Little did I know that feeling would get better.

  11. MrPlywood 03/03/2007 at 11:34 PM #

    I agree Captain. State was ranked #16 in the national AP poll after the ACC tourney, and was a #6 seed in the NCAA tourney. They had senior leadership in Bailey, Lowe and Whitt. Whitt was the leading scorer in the NCAA tourney. So the matchup was closer than it was made out to be.

    I think that the nature of the run, with all the come from behind wins, certainly adds to the “miracle” aspect that’s overplayed in the media. State was also the lowest seeded team to win since the tourney started seeding in 1979, although you could make a case that since the Pack was ranked #16 and ACC champs, they were seeded low.

    Regardless, I was a senior that year, and I’ll never forget it…

  12. john of sparta 03/04/2007 at 7:13 PM #

    Washburn, Chris.
    it all started in 83.

  13. GoldenChain 03/05/2007 at 9:48 AM #

    I agree with VAWolf and, as usual, some of you will say that you don’t see why I post BUT I say one can be a fan and be realistic.
    State was preseason ranked going into the ’82-’83 campaign. We were coming off of a 20 win season the previous year and had everyone coming back for a senior season. One that featured 3 senior starters. We finishing the season strong going into the ACCT in ’83.
    This season we have certainly had our moments and they have been great in themselves. However we have only had three two game winning streaks since Dec 1st, and one against quality competition! Get real! Saying that we are inconsistent is being kind.
    How many All-ACC players do you think we have? How many did we have in ’83?
    There certainly is the chance we can pull off the win against a depleated Duke, then if UVa plays the way they played this weekend, well who knows. However if we play like we played the last 4 games we don’t have a prayer to win 3 in a row against top competition.
    Chances are we’ll be one-n-done. Though I won’t complain if we’re not.

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