Mike Krzyzewski was at Duke for so long, and won so much, that people’s memories of Dean Smith sort of dimmed.
No, not you guys. The rest of us. We know you Tar Heel fans haven’t forgotten. Now sit down and let us finish the story. OK?
In 1979, Norm Sloan was just a few years removed from an epic team that won the 1974 NCAA championship. Yet he was still overshadowed by Smith, and in this game, UNC had a massive 40-19 halftime lead - with no three point shot and no shot clock.
The four corners lived.
But the Wolfpack roared back behind Charles “Hawkeye” Whitney and Clyde “the Glide” Austin.
Down 68-65, UNC’s Jimmy Black earned a technical. Whitney got three foul shots on the play, counting the T, and hit two with :43 seconds left to cut the lead to 68-67. After the following timeout, NC State hit a shot to go up 1 with about :30 seconds left and rebounded UNC’s miss with :16 left.
Easy money, right? Just hold the ball, right?
Dudley Bradley was a highly talented guy who, for whatever reason, was not able to translate practice play into dominant game play.
But on this play, Austin made a fatal error: he turned his back on Bradley, who was cat quick. Bradley poked the ball loose and headed downcourt to dunk it with :05 on the clock, putting UNC back up.
State rushed back upcourt but only managed a 35 footer by Kenny Matthews which bounced off, giving UNC one of the defining wins of the Smith era.
It was a devastating - and unforgettable - loss for the Wuffies.