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YouTube Gold: Phi Slamma Jamma vs. Louisville

Even now: OMG

Houston Cougars v Louisville Cardinals
ALBUQERQUE, NM - APRIL 4: Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Cougars goes up for the jump shot against the Louisville Cardinals during the NCAA National Final Four in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 2, 1983. The Cougars won 94-81.
Photo by Houston/ Collegiate Images via Getty Images

Listen my children and you shall here, the legendary show of...well we can’t find a decent rhyme, but kids, trust us: the Houston-Louisville game in the 1983 semis was spectacular.

Louisville was a damn good team. Denny Crum had taken over in 1971, leaving John Wooden’s bench, and built a tremendous program in the Commonwealth.

The Cards won the national championship in 1979-80 and made back-to-back trips to the Final Four in 1981-82 and 1982-83. In 1986, of course, Louisville would meet Duke in the national championship game.

In 1982-83, Louisville started Scooter and Rodney McCray, Milt Wagner, Lancaster Gordon and Charles Jones.

But Houston started Larry Micheaux, Alvin Franklin, Michael Young, Clyde Drexler and a still-emerging Hakeem Olajuwon. The latter two went on to brilliant NBA careers

Everyone could see Olajuwon’s talent, but he was still raw and undeveloped and nowhere near the stunning basketball player he would become.

Side story: he should’ve been at NC State. A grad who was in Nigeria in the Peace Corps recommended him to Norm Sloan but Sloan took a pass.

Benny Anders came off the bench and gave basketball the immortal phrase: “we took ‘em to the rack and stuck ‘em.”

And that’s exactly what happened. Even the Louisville players were amazed by the dunkathon that Houston put on, with some going to the monitors to watch replays. It was that good.

It was so good that no one gave NC State a chance in the Finals on Monday night. This game gave us an insight though which we think makes sense and which we saw again in this year’s Final Four: you’re probably not going to get two great games in a row. Or better put, you don’t want to peak out in the semis.

NC State made life miserable for Houston and the dunk that Lorenzo Charles hit at the buzzer on a missed shot by Dereck Whittenburg was the only dunk in the entire game.

The semis were so good though that people still talk about it and Phi Slamma Jamma, as a group, is up there with the Fab Five, the Walton Gang and anyone this side of Showtime.