Arguably, the mid 1980’s were peak ACC. Think about it: Bobby Cremins had revived Georgia Tech. Virginia had Terry Holland and Ralph Sampson. Jim Valvano had won a stunning national championship in 1983. Duke was building steam under Mike Krzyzewski. And while Dean Smith had Michael Jordan at UNC, Lefty Driesell had Len Bias at Maryland.
This video shows the two of them competing in 1984. Jordan is further along at this point but you can see the greatness in Bias too (even if Al McGuire questions it here): the beautiful shot, the power, the vertical leap that essentially matched Jordan’s.
Watching these guys go at it was epic. If only Bias had lived and extended the Celtics dynasty to challenge Jordan and the Bulls, but alas, that was not to be.
Just over a year later, Jordan would be the NBA Rookie Of The Year, Bias would overdose on cocaine on draft night, Lefty Driesell would soon be forced out and in Durham, Duke’s ascent would only pick up steam, ultimately eclipsing both programs.