Former N.C. State hoops team gets recognizedPublished 7:00pm Monday, April 22, 2013
CHOCOWINITY — Nearly 40 years ago the N.C. State basketball team played one of the best hoops games of all time and this year the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame has decided to recognize it by inducting the Wolfpack’s 1973-74 ACC tournament title-winning game against Maryland as one of the greatest sports moments in North Carolina history.
It was during the 1973-74 season that N.C. State won a 103-100 overtime thriller against a powerhouse Maryland team, which propelled the Wolfpack into the NCAA tournament where it would go on to top Providence, Pittsburgh and UCLA before beating Marquette in the national title game.
Southside High School girls basketball coach Bill Lake was 6-11 freshman on that team that featured high-flying guard David Thompson and finished the season with a 30-1 (12-0) record.
That team tends to get overshadowed by the Jim Valvano-coached national title-winning 1982-83 N.C. State squad that has been featured in the popular ESPN “30 for 30” series and Lake said getting recognized by the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame was a great honor.
“It’s really nice that after all these years somebody actually looked back and remembered,” Lake said. “It just makes you feel really good. It’s kind of neat.”
It’s been said that the N.C. State-Maryland game helped sway the NCAA to expand its tournament to 32 teams, which the NCAA did the following season, but what Lake said he remembers most about that game was the atmosphere.
“I remember that the game was intense. Every basket was important and every play was critical all the way until the end,” Lake said. “I just remember it being so close at the end.”