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1983 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament

In the final game, played in Albuquerque, New Mexico, NC State led at halftime with a score of 33–25. Houston was hampered by foul trouble that plagued celebrity Clyde Drexler, who picked up four first half fouls. From the second halfof the Cougars came out with a second wind and established control of the match, finally taking a seven-point lead.
However, things were not all good for Houston. Since the match was played in Albuquerque, players needed to deal with the city’s mile-high altitude. The Cougars’ star center, Akeem Olajuwon, had difficulties adjusting to the environment and drained quickly, needing to check from the game multiple times so he could wear an oxygen mask and recover. With Olajuwon on the bench, Houston head coach Guy Lewis decided that in order to safeguard the lead and the health of his huge man at precisely the exact same period, the Cougars had to begin slowing down the game.
Yet more, this allowed the Wolfpack to return to their own standby strategy of extending the match. Houston’s free throw shooting was quite suspect entering the game, which functioned heavily in NC State’s favor as they were able to rally back and even the score at 52 in the final two minutes. On what would be the final Houston possession, Valvano known for his players to back off and allow guard Alvin Franklin bring the ball up the court. The Wolfpack defenders would allow the Cougars use their lag strategy of passing it around. Once the ball got back to Franklin he was fouled immediately. With 1:05 left, the freshman was fouled and sent to the line for a one-and-one. The idea to filthy Franklin sprung from the enormity of this second; NC State believed that the relatively inexperienced Franklin couldn’t withstand the pressure of going to the line together with the championship at stake and knowing fifty million viewers were tuned in to watch the game. The theory was right as Franklin failed to convert and the Wolfpack caught the rebound. Valvano called timeout with 44 seconds left and drew up a play for senior guard Dereck Whittenburg through the timeout, which required the group to pass him the ball ten minutes left on the clock so that he could take the last shot.
Houston had a defensive stop so they could find another opportunity to close out the game. Lewis decided to move from the man-to-man shield his team had been running the entire game to a half court trap defense. The Wolfpack, who weren’t expecting the defensive modification, were made to deviate and began passing the ball around simply to maintain the Cougars from slipping it. Houston almost obtained the turnover it had been looking for if Whittenburg made an errant pass to Gannon which Drexler almost came away with before the sophomore recovered control of the ball. The ball eventually wound up at the hands of protector Sidney Lowe, who gave it to forwards and fellow senior Thurl Bailey at the corner.
Trying to keep the ball going, as he was double teamed when he obtained the move, Bailey looked back toward Whittenburg, that had been roughly thirty feet away from the hoop near midcourt. Bailey threw what Whittenburg would call a”poor fundamental” overhanded pass that Houston’s Benny Anders, guarding Whittenburg on the play, was able to steal. Now, Whittenburg hearkened back to his high school days together with Morgan Wootten at DeMatha Catholic High School, where he was taught to always grab the basketball with both handson. If Whittenburg hadn’t attempted to do this in this circumstance, Anders may have gotten the steal and a game-winning breakaway layup. In college basketball in the time, the game clock continued to operate after a made field goal, and the Wolfpack probably wouldn’t have had time to inbound the ball. Since it was, Anders knocked the ball from Whittenburg’s hands, but Whittenburg quickly regained control.
The clock, meanwhile, had ticked down to five minutes and Whittenburg was standing a significant distance from the objective. After he regained command, Whittenburg turned and started a desperation shot, afterwards claimed by Whittenburg to be a pass, to try and win the game for NC State. The shot’s trajectory took it on the front of the basket where Olajuwon was covering Wolfpack centre Lorenzo Charles. As he watched the shot, Olajuwon said he knew the shot was likely to come up short but he did not wish to go for the ball too early due to the prospect of goaltending. Charles took advantage of this indecision from Olajuwon and proceeded up for the air balland, in 1 motion, he scored the go-ahead points using a two-handed dip. The last second ticked off the clock prior to Houston could inbound the ball, and that, the match ended, and the Wolfpack were the winners.

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Written by Site Default • September 14, 2019
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