Each Monday until the national championship is played in Indianapolis on April 5, One Great Season will count down the Top 10 National Championship games since 1979, when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson squared off in Salt Lake City. In observance of President's Day, OGS took last week off, but today's No. 8 is the 1982 title game between upstart Georgetown and a stacked North Carolina team.
By JOHN P. WISE
One Great Season
It will forever be remembered by casual sports fans as the game where that one guy threw the ball to the other team.
But those who've followed college basketball closely over the years would say the 1982 national championship game between Georgetown and North Carolina was one of the best in the last 30 years.
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An imposing Georgetown freshman center named Patrick Ewing repeatedly was whistled for goaltending early in the game, but his coach, John Thompson, an intimidator himself, urged Ewing to keep doing it to send a message to the favored Tar Heels.
And eventually, Georgetown found itself in position to win the game until UNC's own rookie sensation, Michael Jordan, swished a baseline jumper with 15 seconds left to give his team a 63-62 lead. When the Hoyas brought the ball up to try to set up a game-winning shot, unpressured guard Fred Brown accidentally threw the ball to North Carolina's James Worthy near midcourt, and Worthy raced the other way until he was fouled with two seconds left.
The win gave legendary coach Dean Smith his first national championship, but Ewing and the Hoyas would play in two more title games in the next three years, winning the 1984 championship over Houston.