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YouTube Gold: Monte Towe

One of the ACC’s truly great truly small guards

North Carolina State University vs University of North Carolina
College Basketball: North Carolina State Monte Towe (25) in action vs North Carolina. Greensboro, NC 12/16/1972 
Set Number: X17326 TK3 F11

In 1972-73 and 1973-74, NC State ran up a two-year record of 57-1, including a brilliant game against Maryland in the 1974 ACC Tournament finals still considered by many to be the greatest game in college basketball history. And State ended UCLA’s championship streak in 1974.

Part of what made that team amazing was the carnival-like atmosphere. We found out later that State routinely listed heights incorrectly, but the Pack had Tom Burleson at 7-4 (actual height: 7-2), David Thompson at 6-4 (actual height: 6-3) and Monte Towe at 5-5 (actual height: 5-7).

Underscoring the carnival atmosphere, in one of those years State had a publicity shot of Towe dribbling between Burleson’s long legs.

What made that team was Thompson, who remains the greatest player in ACC history, and Burleson’s fiery competitive nature. But the diminutive Towe was the perfect guard for those Wolfpack teams.

Like his State coach Norm Sloan, Towe was a native of Indiana. He was tiny but he was extremely quick and a great point guard for the Pack. He had a remarkable free throw style too: he shot the instant he got the ball. No dribble, no hesitation, just boom!

He had a brief pro career, going to the Denver Nuggets in the same draft with Thompson but walked away after two years, going into coaching in 1978. He’s still at it.