Any Wolfpack fan knows that the greatest sports moment in the history of the state was when NC State beat heavily favored Houston to win the NCAA championship in 1983.
But did you know it was the greatest sports moment in the history of another state as well?
In its latest issue, ESPN magazine reports on the results of a reader survey about the greatest sports moments in each state. In California, it was the win by the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game in 1981. In Florida, it was the perfect NFL season by the Miami Dolphins in 1972. In Massachusetts, it was the Boston Red Sox overcoming an 0-3 series deficit to beat the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series.
And in North Carolina, it was NC State’s 1983 national championship in basketball. That win easily outpaced the runner-up — Michael Jordan leading UNC to the NCAA championship in 1982. More than 38 percent of the magazine’s readers voted for NC State’s championship, while slightly less than 19 percent voted for the UNC championship.
But NC State’s accomplishment was significant enough to also rank as the top sports moment in New Mexico, site of the 1983 Final Four. ESPN readers overwhelmingly chose that over New Mexico’s runner-up, Brian Urlacher (a University of New Mexico alum) winning the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2000.
“The state earns the tag of the Land of Slim Pickings for sports moments,” the magazine wrote of New Mexico.