1974 NCAA Final — North Carolina State and Marquette


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing Columnist

The 1975 NCAA final was held in the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina between the North Carolina State Wolfpack (29-1) coached by Norm Sloan and the Marquette Warriors (25-4) led by Al McGuire.

North Carolina was led by David Thompson (26.0 points per game, 7.9 rebounds per game), Tom Burleson (18.1 ppg, 12.2 rpg) and Monte Towe (12.8 ppg). They had defeated Providence 92-78 and Pitt 100-72 to get to the final four and in the semifinal faced the defending champion UCLA Bruins playing in their eighth consecutive final four and seeking their eight consecutive NCAA title.

But as opposed to the last two years when the Bruins went undefeated this year they had their winning streak stopped at 88 games, lost three games and in one of the games of the year met North Carolina State after defeating Dayton 111-100 and San Francisco 93-60 to get to the final four. The game was tied at halftime, after regulation and after the first overtime before UCLA went on a 7-0 run in the second overtime. However with Jamaal Wilkes having fouled out North Carolina outscored the Bruins 13-3 to post an 80-77 victory.

Bill Walton the three-time college basketball player of the year award winner finished with 29 points and 18 rebounds in 50 minutes of playing time while David Thompson had 28 points and 10 rebounds and the 7’2” Tom Burleson had 20 points and 14 rebounds for the winners.

That game is considered to be one of the greatest NCAA tournament games of all time.

The previous year North Carolina State had a 27-0 record but was barred from the tournament because of recruiting violations concerning David Thompson.

Marquette was led by Maurice Lucas (15.8 ppg, 10.6 rpg), Bo Ellis (12.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and Earl Tatum (10.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and also defeated some good teams to get to the final. They dispatched Ohio University 85-59, Vanderbilt 69-61, Michigan 72-70, and Kansas in the final four semifinal 64-51.

North Carolina dominated the final leading 39-30 at halftime and going on to win over Marquette 76-64. David Thompson led the Wolfpack with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals and one block while Maurice Lucas led the Warriors with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

David Thompson received the most outstanding player of the tournament award and was joined on the all-tournament team by Bill Walton of UCLA, Maurice Lucas of Marquette, and Monte Towe and Tom Burleson of North Carolina State.

Walton, David Thompson, Tom Burleson, Maurice Lucas, and Jamaal Wilkes would all go on to distinguished careers in the NBA.

Statistics for this article are from basketball-reference.com.

Ron Griffitts a contributing columnist for The Daily Advocate.

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