The Cardiac Kids

“You can see the time… Whittenburg… oh, that’s a long ways…”

In the spring on 1983, the University of Houston was on top of the college basketball world. After making it to the Final Four the previous year, the Cougars were a lock to get back their again, especially with Phi Slamma Jama leading the way. The tandem of Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler were huge… demonstrating pure power and a heck of a lot of showmanship. And they arrived at the 1983 National Championship riding an incredible 27-game winning streak.

But while no one was watching, the North Carolina State Wolfpack was quietly sneaking up on them. Winners of nine straight themselves, including a pair of wins over Ralph Sampson-led UVA and another against Michael Jordan’s UNC squad, NC State somehow found themselves in Albequerque for the final, too.

And even though State held an eight point lead at halftime, head coach Jimmy Valvano’s boys had their hands full as Houston came roaring back to take the lead late. NC State tied it at 52 with almost two minutes to go. And the there was no more scoring that night–– until… Well, let’s just skip ahead to 2:00 of this clip:

Yep–– as time ran out, the Cardiac Kids pulled off the mother of all upsets. Valvano was running around looking for someone to hug, Houston players were pounding the floor in agony, and Whittenburg was jokingly telling everyone that his long-range heave was meant as a pass to Charles all along.

North Carolina State had finished their dream season as the best team in the land. It was one of the most memorable moments in sports history, so, of course, it happened in the 80s.

We ♥ the Cardiac Kids.

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~ by weheart80s on May 25, 2012.

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