NC State Men's Basketball History of Success
Few basketball programs in the country can match the success that has been enjoyed by NC State.
The school began its basketball program with a humble start in 1911, but it quickly developed a championship tradition in the early days of the sport. But it really took off with the arrival of Lt. Commander Everett Case, a legendary Indiana high school basketball coach who accepted a job at NC State with the hopes of ignited a passion for the college game in the Southeast.
He was beyond successful, as the fever of college basketball still burns brightly today, thanks to this hardcourt visionary. Under Case, the Wolfpack won six consecutive Southern Conference and four ACC championships in his 16 years as the head coach of the Wolfpack. In 1950, Case took the team to its first Final Four.
Since then, the Wolfpack has won a pair of national championships, the first in 1974 under former Case player Norman Sloan and the second in 1983 under Jim Valvano. The school owns 10 Atlantic Coast Conference titles and seven Southern Conference titles.
What makes NC State basketball truly special, however, are the people who helped bring those championships to Raleigh.
What follows is just a small sampling of 98 years of NC State basketball history:
1910: Guy Bryan led a special committee that proposed the formation of North Carolina A&M’s first basketball team.
February 16, 1911: The first basketball game in NC State (North Carolina A&M at the time) history is played at Wake Forest. Wake, vastly more experienced, prevails 33-6.
February 21, 1911: Wake Forest comes to town for the first intercollegiate basketball game ever played in Raleigh. The 19-18 A&M win was the first victory in school history.
1912: Athletics council votes to recognize basketball as a sport
March 15, 1919: North Carolina A&M defeats the University of North Carolina, 39-29, to capture the undisputed state championship for the second straight season.
1920-21 Season: North Carolina A&M becomes North Carolina State College.
1923-24 Season: NC State, previously known as the Tech, becomes the Red Terrors, thanks to the play of Rochelle "Red" Johnson and the unveiling of a bright new red set of road uniforms.
1923-1924 Season: State opens the doors of its first basketball facility, Frank Thompson Gym. Named in honor of the former Wolfpack athlete who died in action during World War I, the arena served as the basketball team’s home for 24 years.
1924-25 Season: Gus Tebell takes over program and leads Wolfpack to its first of many accomplishments. Though not recognized, he is the first "legendary leader." Career totals include a 79-36 record, first team in school history to win 20 games, and his 1929 squad brought home NC State’s only conference title in the first 35 years of the program.
March 5, 1929: NC State wins its first Southern Conference Tournament Championship in Atlanta.
1931-1932 Season: Bud Rose becomes the first NC State basketball player to earn national recognition when the senior guard is tabbed as an honorable mention All-American.
February 26, 1932: The Southern Conference Tournament moves to Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium. Except for a three-year run from 1948-50, Raleigh is to be the site of the Southern Conference Tournament (through 1953) and later the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament (beginning in 1954) for the next 35 years.
Fall 1943: Construction begins on a new basketball arena and ROTC armory for NC State. The building, to become Reynolds Coliseum when finally completed, stalls during World War II and a girdered skeleton remains on campus before construction resumes more than four years later.
July 1, 1946: Everett Case officially becomes an NC State employee, changing the face of NC State basketball, as well as basketball in the entire Southeast.
February 1, 1947: Case’s Red Terrors defeat North Carolina 48-46 in an overtime game at Chapel Hill, the first in a streak of 15 wins over the White Phantoms/Tar Heels.
February 25, 1947: The game between NC State and Duke has to be postponed when city fire officials close down Thompson gym the afternoon before the game. Desperate fans sneak in through bathroom windows, break down doors, and hide in the basement before the fire chief cancels the game.
March 6-7-8, 1947: Case leads NC State to its first Southern Conference championship since 1929. Following the championship game, Case and his team perform what was an Indiana high school tradition by cutting down the nets. Cutting down the nets soon becomes a nationwide trend.
December 2, 1947: NC State plays its first basketball game as the "Wolfpack," changing its name from Red Terrors.
February 5, 1948: Construction on Reynolds Coliseum resumes when the final shipment of steel arrives in Raleigh. The building needs additional girders because of design changes made at the behest of Everett Case, who insists that the building’s blueprints be expanded from a 9,000-seat building to more than 11,000.
December 2, 1949: NC State plays the first game at Reynolds Coliseum, earning a 67-47 win over Washington & Lee. At the time, Reynolds is the largest college basketball facility in the Southeast.
December 28-29-30, 1949: The first Dixie Classic is held at Reynolds Coliseum, three days of basketball, three games a day.
March 1950: The Wolfpack loses 78-73 to City College of New York in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. The Final Four appearance is the first for NC State.
January 24, 1953: North Carolina comes to Reynolds Coliseum in the first matchup between the two schools since Frank McGuire became the UNC head coach the previous summer. McGuire and the Tar Heels prevail in a stunning upset, 70-69. The loss ends Case’s 15-game winning streak over North Carolina. McGuire begins to add fuel to the budding rivalry between himself and Case by having his players cut down the Reynolds Coliseum nets following the game.
December 8, 1953: NC State plays Wake Forest at Gore Gymnasium on the Wake campus in the first Atlantic Coast Conference game for both schools. The Deacons upset the No. 8 Wolfpack, 81-69.
March 6, 1954: NC State defeats Wake Forest in overtime, 82-80, to win the first-ever ACC Tournament and earn the ACC’s bid to the NCAA Tournament.
March 5, 1955: NC State captures its second straight ACC Tournament title, defeating Duke 87-77 in the finals. The Pack finishes the year 28-4, but is ineligible for the NCAA Tournament because of NCAA sanctions.
1955-56 Season: Vic Bubas replaces longtime Everett Case assistant Butter Anderson on the Wolfpack coaching staff.
January 18, 1956: NC State plays on television for the first time, losing at North Carolina, 73-69.
March 1-2-3, 1956: NC State wins its third ACC Tournament in a row, setting a record for consecutive ACC championships that was not broken until 2002.
December 29-30-31, 1958: The strongest Dixie Classic field ever assembles at Reynolds Coliseum for a sensational shootout. Included in the field are eight players who will eventually earn All-America honors: Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati), Johnny Green (Michigan State), Don Goldstein (Louisville), Lou Pucillo (NC State), John Richter (NC State), and Lee Shaffer, York Larese and Doug Moe (North Carolina).
March 7, 1959: Tenth-ranked NC State rips fifth-ranked North Carolina, 80-56, in the ACC Tournament championship game. The 1958 Wolfpack, one of Case’s best teams, is ineligible for postseason play and finishes the season ranked No. 6 nationally with a 22-4 record.
Summer 1962: Everett Case, 62 years old and contemplating retirement, hand picks his successor by hiring Clemson head coach Press Maravich to be the Wolfpack’s top assistant.
December 7, 1964: Everett Case, his health failing, resigns as Wolfpack head coach two games into the 1964-65 season. Press Maravich becomes head coach.
December 11, 1965: The longest game in NC State history went minutes, hours, even months longer then any other game. Due to a power outage during the December 11 contest at Wake Forest, it wasn't until February 23 that the Pack finished the game and routed the Deacons 101-75, thus completing the longest game in ACC history.
March 4-5-6, 1965: NC State defeats eighth-ranked Duke, 91-85, in the ACC Tournament finals. Everett Case watches the game from a seat along press row, and following the final horn, the NC State players hoist their former coach on their shoulders and have him cut the championship nets for the 11th and final time.
April 29, 1966: Press Maravich resigns as head coach at NC State to become head coach at Louisiana State University, where his son Pete Maravich goes on to set numerous NCAA scoring records.
April 30, 1966: Everett Case passes away at Raleigh’s Rex Hospital.
May 7, 1966: Norman Sloan, Florida's 39-year-old head coach and a former NC State basketball under Case, is tabbed as the Pack’s new head coach.
March 8, 1968: NC State plays No. 10 Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinals in one of the most bizarre games in college basketball history. The smaller Wolfpack tries to pull the Blue Devils away from the basket, looking to exploit its quickness. Norm Sloan orders the Wolfpack to hold the ball at midcourt and the slowdown unfolds. Duke led at the half 4-2, then in the second half, the Wolfpack then holds the ball for more than 13 minutes without any movement from the Blue Devils defense. The slowdown tactic works as NC State prevails 12-10.
December 2, 1968: Al Heartley makes his debut as the first African-American basketball player at NC State. Heartley went on to enjoy a solid three-year career and was named team captain as a senior.
March 7, 1970: NC State wins its sixth Atlantic Coast Conference championship with a 42-39 double-overtime upset of third-ranked South Carolina in the championship game.
April 1970: Newland, NC, native Tom Burleson signs a grant-in-aid with NC State, laying the first brick in the foundation of what is to become the ACC’s greatest team ever. The 7-4 Burleson is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated before ever playing a varsity game in college.
Spring, 1971: The remaining pieces of the 1974 national championship nucleus are put in place when Coach Norm Sloan signs a brilliant recruiting class headed by 6-4 superstar-to-be David Thompson, 5-7 point guard Monte Towe, and 6-7 power forward Tim Stoddard.
November 27, 1972: David Thompson makes his collegiate debut with 33 points and 13 rebounds in a 130-53 rout of Appalachian State.
January 14, 1973: In the first nationally televised Super Bowl Sunday basketball matchup, No. 3 NC State defeats No. 2 Maryland, 87-85, in College Park, Md.
March 10, 1973: NC State completes the season with a perfect 27-0 record by defeating Maryland 76-74 in the ACC Tournament’s championship game. The Pack is unable to participate in the postseason due to NCAA sanctions.
February 18, 1974: For the first time in school history, NC State moves to No. 1 in the national polls.
March 9, 1974: In the greatest game in ACC history, NC State posts a pulsating 103-100 overtime victory over Maryland in the championship game of the 1974 ACC Tournament.
March 23, 1974: NC State ends UCLA’s seven-year reign as national champions with an 80-77 double-overtime victory over the Bruins in the semifinals of the 1974 NCAA Tournament in Greensboro, NC.
March 25, 1974: NC State wins its first national championship by defeating Marquette, 76-64, in the championship game of the 1974 NCAA Tournament.
December 5, 1974: The Wolfpack matches its school record for points in a game and shatters the school mark for largest margin of victory (86 points) with a smashing 144-58 rout of Buffalo State. The blowout is fueled by David Thompson’s ACC record 57 points.
March 1, 1975: David Thompson’s uniform number 44 is retired prior to the Wolfpack’s 103-80 win over UNC-Charlotte in Thompson’s last home game at Reynolds Coliseum. Thompson is whistled for a technical foul after slamming home a thunderous dunk, which became illegal in college basketball in 1966.
February 24, 1980: Norman Sloan confirms that he will leave NC State at the conclusion of the 1980 season to return to the University of Florida.
March 27, 1980: NC State names Jim Valvano as its 15th head basketball coach. The glib, quick-talking New Yorker quickly captures the imagination and hearts of Wolfpack fans.
February 19, 1983: After seven consecutive losses to North Carolina, Wolfpack head coach Jim Valvano notches his first victory over Dean Smith and the third-ranked Tar Heels with a 70-63 win at Reynolds Coliseum.
March 13, 1983: Four NC State players finish in double figures as NC State wins its ninth ACC championship with an 81-78 victory over All-America center Ralph Sampson and fourth-ranked Virginia in the ACC TournaAfter falling behind by six points with 70 seconds left in overtime, NC State rallies for a come-from-behind, 69-67, double-overtime victory over Pepperdine in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the first of many miracles for the Wolfpack in the NCAA Tourney.
March 20, 1983: Thurl Bailey’s tap-in of his own missed shot caps a stirring rally in the game’s final minutes and lifts NC State to a 71-70 win over UNLV in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
March 26, 1983: Frustrated throughout his career by heartbreaking losses to Virginia, Dereck Whittenburg gains a measure of sweet revenge by hitting 11-of-16 shots from the field for a game-high 24 points to lift NC State to a 63-62 win over the Cavaliers in the finals of the NCAA West Regionals at Ogden, UT.
April 4, 1983: Lorenzo Charles’s last-second dunk caps the final miracle comeback in the Wolfpack’s Cinderella run to the 1983 national championship, a 54-52 win over top-ranked and heavily favored Houston.
March 8, 1987: After a disappointing regular season, NC State rallies to win its 10th Atlantic Coast Conference championship with a thrilling 68-67 win over North Carolina in the tournament’s championship game.
January 7, 1989: Always looking forward, Wolfpack head coach Jim Valvano unveils the uniform trend of the future, the unitard. The unitard is a one-piece, skin-tight uniform, but the Wolfpack players opt to wear the new uniform under the traditional basketball shorts. The team drops the new look after just two games.
March 4, 1989: Chucky Brown scores 34 points and Rodney Monroe tosses in 26 as the Wolfpack subdues Wake Forest 110-103 in the regular-season finale, clinching the regular season title for the Wolfpack. The game is the longest in ACC history.
March 19, 1989: Rodney Monroe, often double- and triple-teamed, tosses in a career-high 40 points to lead the Wolfpack to a 102-96 double-overtime win over Iowa in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
April 23, 1990: A former Wolfpack player under legendary coach Everett Case in the 1960s and freshman coach for two seasons after Case’s retirement in 1964-65, Les Robinson is named NC State’s 16th head coach.
January 13, 1991: Trailing Georgia Tech 50-38 at halftime, NC State rallies behind Rodney Monroe’s career-high 48 points and comes from behind to down the stunned Yellow Jackets by a 90-83 score at Reynolds Coliseum. As a team, the Yellow Jackets barely outscore Monroe in the second half, 33-31.
January 16, 1991: NC State’s game against North Carolina at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill is canceled by the outbreak of Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait.
January 21, 1991: Chris Corchiani sets ACC career records for assists with 861 and steals with 276 in an 89-76 win over Marquette.
February 6-7, 1991: NC State and North Carolina face each other on back-to-back nights, playing the regularly scheduled game at Reynolds Coliseum on February 6 and then playing at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill on February 7. Tom Gugliotta scored 28 points and grabs 10 rebounds to lead the Wolfpack to a 97-91 victory in game at Reynolds Coliseum. North Carolina wins the second game at the Smith Center.
February 16, 1991: Rodney Monroe scores 26 points in a 60-59 win at Connecticut to become NC State’s all-time leading scorer with 2,327 career points.
February 23, 1991: Rodney Monroe, held to two points in the first half, outscores the entire Virginia team in the second half, 31-30, to lead the Wolfpack to an 83-76 comeback win.
February 25, 1991: Chris Corchiani doles out 13 assists at Tennessee to give him 972 for his career, an NCAA record.
February 27, 1991: Chris Corchiani ties an ACC record for assists in a game by dishing out 20 in a 114-91 victory over Maryland. The 20 assists makes Corchiani the first player in NCAA history to record 1,000 career assists.
January 22, 1992: Tom Gugliotta explodes for 36 points, pulls down eight rebounds, dishes out five assists, blocks twto a 99-88 win over North Carolina at Reynolds Coliseum.
February 22, 1992: The Wolfpack snaps a nine-game losing streak with a 99-94 victory over North Carolina at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill. Kevin Thompson goes 12-for-14 from the floor and scores 29 points to lead the Wolfpack in scoring.
January 4, 1995: Todd Fuller’s 16 points and 11 rebounds lead NC State to a 80-70 win over No. 1 North Carolina in Reynolds Coliseum.
April 17, 1996: Herb Sendek is named the 17th head coach in NC State basketball history.
March 9, 1997: NC State’s run to the championship game of the ACC Tournament ends with a 64-54 loss to North Carolina. The Wolfpack becomes the first and only team ever to advance from the play-in game all the way to the finals.
February 21, 1998: Led by C.C. Harrison’s 31 points, which included eight straight three-pointers, the Wolfpack defeats No. 1 North Carolina, 86-72, in Chapel Hill.
January 16, 1999: A crowd of 12,852 turns out for NC State’s final meeting with rival North Carolina in Reynolds Coliseum, the largest crowd in that facility’s 50-year history.
February 24, 1999: The jerseys of seven Wolfpack All-Americans (Dick Dickey, Sammy Ranzino, Bobby Speight, Ronnie Shavlik, Vic Molodet, Lou Pucillo and John Richter) are honored at halftime of the final regularly-scheduled game in Reynolds Coliseum, a 71-63 win over Florida State. Former coach Norman Sloan, with assists from some of the program's most successful players, scores the final basket at Reynolds with a post-game layup.
March 15, 1999: The Wolfpack falls to Princeton, 61-58, in the second round of the NIT, marking the final game played in storied Reynolds Coliseum. Freshman guard Anthony Grundy scores the last basket in Reynolds, hitting a three-pointer with two-tenths of a second left.
November 19, 1999: The Wolfpack takes the court for the first time in the new Entertainment and Sports Arena. A sellout crowd and an ESPN audience witnesses NC State’s 67-63 win over Georgia.
March 4, 2002: After leading the Wolfpack in points, rebounds, steals, and assists on the year, Anthony Grundy is named to the All-ACC squad. The 6-3 shooting guard was the Pack’s first All-ACC pick since 1996.
March 15, 2002: NC State faces off against Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament in Washington, D.C. In its first appearance since the 1990-91 season in the NCAAs, the Wolfpack comes back from a 12-point halftime deficit and defeats the Spartans, 69-58.
February 25, 2003: The Wolfpack ties its own ACC record by connecting on all 22 of its free throw attempts in a 75-67 overtime win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
March 16, 2003: NC State defeats Wake Forest, the top seed in the ACC Tournament, to advance to the finals for the third time in Herb Sendek’s seven years as head coach. The win locked the Pack into their second straight NCAA bid.
February 15, 2004: The Wolfpack defeats top-ranked Duke at the RBC Center, 78-74.
March 2004: Wolfpack junior swingman Julius Hodge is named the ACC Player of the Year and head coach Herb Sendek earns the league’s Coach of the Year honor.
March, 20, 2005: NC State advances to the Sweet 16 for the first time since1986 by knocking off defending national champion Connecticut in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Worcester, Mass.
June 28, 2005: Julius Hodge is drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets.
May 9, 2006: Former Wolfpack standout Sidney Lowe is named NC State's 18th head coach. He is greeted by former teammates, coaches and hundreds of fans during and after the official press conference.
June 29, 2006: For the second straight year, NC State has a player selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. Cedric Simmons was the No. 15 overall pick by the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.
February 3, 2007: With a 83-79 win over No. 3 North Carolina, Sidney Lowe defeats the highest ranked opponent for a first-year head coach in school history. Lowe also debuts his red sports jacket to the delight of the home fans.
March 8-11, 2007: NC State becomes only the second team in the history of the ACC Tournament to play four games in four days. The Pack entered as the five years.
February 16, 2008: NC State welcomed back many members of the 1983 National Championship team to the RBC Center to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Pack's second national title.