Upsets. They are the single most influential factor in why the NCAA tournament is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world each and every year. David beats Goliath. Underdog gets the victory. There have plenty of upsets in the NCAA tourney through the years, too many to recount, but these five remain among some of the most memorable.
1983 National Championship Game
The N.C. State Wolfpack had a pretty mediocre regular season and had to win the ACC Tournament title to ensure that they got a bid to the NCAAs. Led by fiery head coach Jim Valvano, the Wolfpack did just that. After winning the ACC, N.C. State beat Pepperdine, Virginia, and Georgia for the right to face arguably the best team in the nation that year – Houston. The Cougars, with future NBA All-Stars Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, were known as Phi Slamma Jamma, a bevy of athletic talent that could run the floor and jump out of the gym night after night. The Wolfpack were clearly outclassed, but they kept the game close. N.C. State kept it close enough that when guard Dereck Whittenburg’s desperation 30-foot jumper fell far from the rim, Lorenzo Charles was able to grab it and slam it home for the game-winning points. N.C. State 54, Houston 52, one of the biggest upsets in a national title game….