1983 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament

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1983 NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals siteThe Pit
Albuquerque, New Mexico
ChampionsNC State (2nd title)
Runner-upHouston (1st title game)
SemifinalistsGeorgia (1st Final Four)
Louisville (6th Final Four)
Winning coachJim Valvano (1st title)
MOPHakeem Olajuwon Houston
Top scorerDereck Whittenburg NC State
(120 points)
NCAA Men's Division I Tournaments
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1983 NCAA Men's Division I
Basketball Tournament
Finals siteThe Pit
Albuquerque, New Mexico
ChampionsNC State (2nd title)
Runner-upHouston (1st title game)
SemifinalistsGeorgia (1st Final Four)
Louisville (6th Final Four)
Winning coachJim Valvano (1st title)
MOPHakeem Olajuwon Houston
Top scorerDereck Whittenburg NC State
(120 points)
NCAA Men's Division I Tournaments

The 1983 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 52 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 2, 1983, and ended with the championship game on April 4 at The Pit, then officially known as University Arena, on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.[1] A total of 51 games were played.

North Carolina State, coached by Jim Valvano, won the national title with a 54-52 victory in the final game over Houston, coached by Guy Lewis. The ending of the final is one of the most famous in college basketball history, with a buzzer-beating dunk by Lorenzo Charles, off a high, arching air ball from 30 feet out by Dereck Whittenburg providing the final margin. This contributed to the nickname given to North Carolina State, the "Cardiac Pack", a reference to their often close games that came down to the wire — in fact, the team won 7 of its last 9 games after trailing with a minute left in the game. Both Charles's dunk and Valvano's running around the court in celebration immediately after the game have been staples of NCAA tournament coverage ever since. North Carolina State's victory has often been considered one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history.

Hakeem Olajuwon of Houston was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, becoming the last player to date to earn this award while playing for a team that failed to win the national title.


First and Second Rounds[edit]

Later Rounds[edit]

EastSyracuse, New York (Carrier Dome)
MideastKnoxville, Tennessee (Stokely Athletic Center)
MidwestKansas City, Missouri (Kemper Arena)
WestOgden, Utah (Dee Events Center)


RegionSeedTeamCoachFinishedFinal OpponentScore
East1St. John'sLou CarneseccaSweet Sixteen4 GeorgiaL 70-67
East2North CarolinaDean SmithRegional Runner-up4 GeorgiaL 82-77
East3Ohio StateEldon MillerSweet Sixteen2 North CarolinaL 64-51
East4GeorgiaHugh DurhamFinal Four6 North Carolina StateL 67-60
East5VCUJ.D. BarnettSecond Round4 GeorgiaL 56-54
East6SyracuseJim BoeheimSecond Round3 Ohio StateL 79-74
East7West VirginiaGale CatlettFirst Round10 James MadisonL 57-50
East8Southwestern LouisianaBobby PaschalFirst Round9 RutgersL 60-53
East9RutgersTom YoungSecond Round1 St. John'sL 66-55
East10James MadisonLou CampanelliSecond Round2 North CarolinaL 68-49
East11Morehead StateWayne MartinFirst Round6 SyracuseL 74-59
East12Boston UniversityRick PitinoPreliminary Round12 La SalleL 70-58
East12La SalleLefty ErvinFirst Round5 Virginia CommonwealthL 76-67
Mideast1LouisvilleDenny CrumFinal Four1 HoustonL 94-81
Mideast2IndianaBob KnightSweet Sixteen3 KentuckyL 64-59
Mideast3KentuckyJoe B. HallRegional Runner-up1 LouisvilleL 80-68
Mideast4ArkansasEddie SuttonSweet Sixteen1 LouisvilleL 65-63
Mideast5PurdueGene KeadySecond Round4 ArkansasL 78-68
Mideast6Illinois StateBob DonewaldFirst Round11 OhioL 51-49
Mideast7OklahomaBilly TubbsSecond Round2 IndianaL 63-49
Mideast8TennesseeDon DeVoeSecond Round1 LouisvilleL 70-57
Mideast9MarquetteHank RaymondsFirst Round8 TennesseeL 57-56
Mideast10UABGene BartowFirst Round7 OklahomaL 71-63
Mideast11OhioDanny NeeSecond Round3 KentuckyL 57-40
Mideast12Georgia SouthernFrank KernsPreliminary Round12 Robert MorrisL 64-54
Mideast12Robert MorrisMatt FurjanicFirst Round5 PurdueL 55-53
Midwest1HoustonGuy LewisRunner Up6 North Carolina StateL 54-52
Midwest2MissouriNorm StewartSecond Round7 IowaL 77-63
Midwest3VillanovaRollie MassiminoRegional Runner-up1 HoustonL 89-71
Midwest4Memphis State (Vacated)Dana KirkSweet Sixteen1 HoustonL 70-63
Midwest5GeorgetownJohn ThompsonSecond Round4 Memphis StateL 66-57
Midwest6AlabamaWimp SandersonFirst Round11 LamarL 73-50
Midwest7IowaLute OlsonSweet Sixteen3 VillanovaL 55-54
Midwest8MarylandLefty DriesellSecond Round1 HoustonL 60-50
Midwest9Tennessee-ChattanoogaMurray ArnoldFirst Round8 MarylandL 52-51
Midwest10Utah StateRod TuellerFirst Round7 IowaL 64-59
Midwest11LamarPat FosterSecond Round3 VillanovaL 60-58
Midwest12Alcorn StateDavey WhitneyFirst Round5 GeorgetownL 68-63
Midwest12XavierBob StaakPreliminary Round12 Alcorn StateL 81-75
West1VirginiaTerry HollandRegional Runner-up6 North Carolina StateL 63-62
West2UCLALarry FarmerSecond Round10 UtahL 67-61
West3UNLVJerry TarkanianSecond Round6 North Carolina StateL 71-70
West4Boston CollegeGary WilliamsSweet Sixteen1 VirginiaL 95-92
West5Oklahoma StatePaul HansenFirst Round12 PrincetonL 56-53
West6North Carolina StateJim ValvanoChampion1 HoustonW 54-52
West7IllinoisLou HensonFirst Round10 UtahL 52-49
West8Washington StateGeorge RavelingSecond Round1 VirginiaL 54-49
West9Weber StateNeil McCarthyFirst Round8 Washington StateL 62-52
West10UtahJerry PimmSweet Sixteen6 North Carolina StateL 75-56
West11PepperdineJim HarrickFirst Round6 North Carolina StateL 69-67
West12North Carolina A&TDon CorbettPreliminary Round12 PrincetonL 53-41
West12PrincetonPete CarrilSecond Round4 Boston CollegeL 51-42


* – Denotes overtime period

Preliminary Round[edit]

East #12 Seed
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
12La Salle70
12Boston University58
Mideast #12 Seed
Dayton, Ohio
12Robert Morris64
12Georgia Southern54
Midwest #12 Seed
Dayton, Ohio
12Alcorn State81
West #12 Seed
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
12North Carolina A&T42

East region[edit]

 First roundSecond roundRegional SemifinalsRegional Finals
8 Southwest Louisiana53 
9 Rutgers60 
 9 Rutgers55 
  1 St. John's66 
 1 St. John's67 
 4 Georgia70 
 4 Georgia56
  5 VCU54 
5 VCU76
12 La Salle67 
 4 Georgia82
 2 North Carolina77
6 Syracuse74 
11 Morehead State59 
 6 Syracuse74
  3 Ohio State79 
 3 Ohio State51
 2 North Carolina64 
 2 North Carolina68
  10 James Madison49 
7 West Virginia50
10 James Madison57 

West region[edit]

 First roundSecond roundRegional SemifinalsRegional Finals
8 Washington State62 
9 Weber State52 
 8 Washington State49 
  1 Virginia54 
 1 Virginia95 
 4 Boston College92 
 4 Boston College51
  12 Princeton42 
5 Oklahoma State53
12 Princeton56 
 1 Virginia62
 6 N.C. State63
6 N.C. State69* 
11 Pepperdine67 
 6 N.C. State71
  3 UNLV70 
 6 N.C. State75
 10 Utah56 
 2 UCLA61
  10 Utah67 
7 Illinois49
10 Utah52 

Mideast region[edit]

 First roundSecond roundRegional SemifinalsRegional Finals
8 Tennessee57 
9 Marquette56 
 8 Tennessee57 
  1 Louisville70 
 1 Louisville65 
 4 Arkansas63 
 4 Arkansas78
  5 Purdue68 
5 Purdue55
12 Robert Morris53 
 1 Louisville80
 3 Kentucky68*
6 Illinois State49 
11 Ohio51 
 11 Ohio40
  3 Kentucky57 
 3 Kentucky64
 2 Indiana59 
 2 Indiana63
  7 Oklahoma49 
7 Oklahoma71
10 UAB63 

Midwest region[edit]

 First roundSecond roundRegional SemifinalsRegional Finals
8 Maryland52 
9 Tennessee-Chattanooga51 
 8 Maryland50 
  1 Houston60 
 1 Houston70 
 4 Memphis State63 
 4 Memphis State66
  5 Georgetown57 
5 Georgetown68
12 Alcorn State63 
 1 Houston89
 3 Villanova71
6 Alabama50 
11 Lamar73 
 11 Lamar58
  3 Villanova60 
 3 Villanova55
 7 Iowa54 
 2 Missouri63
  7 Iowa77 
7 Iowa64
10 Utah State59 

Final Four[edit]

National SemifinalsNational Championship Game
W6N.C. State67
W6N.C. State54

Game summaries[edit]

Mideast Regional Final
March 26
Kentucky Wildcats 68, Louisville Cardinals 80 (OT)
Scoring by half: 37-30, 25-32 OT: 6-18
Pts: Jim Master/Melvin Turpin 18
Rebs: Melvin Turpin 9
Asts: Dirk Minniefield 9
Pts: Milt Wagner 24
Rebs: Rodney McCray 8
Asts: Scooter McCray, Milt Wagner 4
Louisville advances to Final Four

Tournament notes[edit]

The Louisville vs Houston semi-final was a matchup of the #1 vs. #2 team.[3] The #1 ranked Houston Cougars (nicknamed Phi Slama Jama) vs. #2 the Louisville Cardinals (nicknamed "The Doctors of Dunk") was considered likely to produce the national champion. It featured two strong offensive teams that specialized in the slam dunk.[4] Both teams put on a show of offense, with Houston winning out over Louisville 94-81. This would have been the biggest game of the tournament[clarification needed] had it not been eclipsed by the North Carolina State win over Houston in the championship game.

Another historically significant game in this tournament was the Mideast Regional final between Kentucky and Louisville, in-state rivals that had not played one another in basketball since the 1959 NCAA tournament, and had not played in the regular season since 1922. After regulation time ended with Kentucky tying the game at the buzzer, Louisville dominated the overtime to advance to the Final Four. This result directly led to the start of the Battle for the Bluegrass annual basketball series between the two schools that November.[4]

A historically significant run in the tournament was that of Georgia, who became the last team to date to advance to the Final Four in its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. But the N.C. State team led by Jim Valvano became the archetype of the "Cinderella team", the underdog that many fans look to as a possible spoiler over top-ranked teams. This label has, since then, been applied to many programs, including Villanova in 1985, Gonzaga in 1999, George Mason in 2006, Butler in 2010 and 2011, VCU in 2011, and Wichita State in 2013. Not only did N.C. State beat Houston to win the championship, but they also beat #1 seeded Virginia on their way to the Final Four. North Carolina State became the first team in tournament history to win six games en route to the title (the tournament being 32 teams or less prior to 1979, and all champions from 1979 to 1982 had first-round byes).


  1. ^ http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/postseason/1983-ncaa.html
  2. ^ Gainesville Sun. 1983 March 27.
  3. ^ Johnson, Gary K.; Sean W. Straziscar; Jeff Williams; Kevin Buerge (2007). Official 2007 NCAA Men's Basketball Records Book. NCAA Records Books. National Collegiate Athletic Association. ISSN 1089-5280. [not in citation given]
  4. ^ a b Weintraub, Robert - Jamfest for the Ages. E-Ticket - ESPN.COM the magazine, March 29, 2007