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YouTube Gold: NC State vs. UNC, 1983 ACC Tournament Finals

A great game as State started on a legendary run

North Carolina State
Head coach Jim Valvano of the North Carolina State Wolfpack gestures to his team circa 1989.
Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images

Things were really different in 1983. ESPN was just getting started. Dick Vitale was still trying to be a normal sportscaster - no bombast!

The ACC had eight teams. Jim Valvano, Bobby Cremins and Mike Krzyzewski were young, new head coaches, none of them legends.

But Valvano was about to become one.

NC State had had an average to mediocre season but closed hot and had a chance to win their way into the NCAA tournament if it could beat UNC in the ACC Tournament Finals.

But it was no sure thing.

UNC, Virginia and Maryland were the ACC powers and Dean Smith had Michael Jordan and Sam Perkins, among others.

But State was a team of destiny and forced overtime, then put the Tar Heels away.

This was after the Wolfpack took out Ralph Sampson and Virginia in the semis too, a feat they would repeat in the West region finals.

And in the Final Four, of course, NC State would knock off Houston in legendary fashion.

None of that was clear when this game started. No one from the future could imagine the worried kid that Michael Jordan was, sitting helplessly on the bench as the game slipped away. It was just a classic ACC upset.