The 1982 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final — North Carolina and Georgetown


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing columnist

On March 29, 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana the North Carolina Tar Heels (31-2) coached by Dean Smith who were appearing in their second consecutive NCAA final faced the Georgetown Hoyas (30-6) coached by John Thompson.

The Tar Heels had defeated James Madison 52-50, Alabama 74-69, and Villanova 70-60 to get to the semifinal against Houston whom they defeated 68-63 to get to the final.

They were led by 6’ 9” junior forward James Worthy (15.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg), 6’ 6” freshman guard Michael Jordan (13.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and 6’ 9” forward Sam Perkins (14.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg).

The Hoyas got past Wyoming 51-43, Fresno State 58-40, Oregon State 69-45 and Louisville 50-46 in the semifinal to get to the final.

They were led by 6’ 3” senior guard Sleepy Floyd (16.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.7 apg), 7’ 0” freshman center Patrick Ewing (12.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and 6’ 5” senior forward Eric Smith (9.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.1 apg).

The game was a close one and Georgetown led 32-31 at halftime but North Carolina rallied behind a last minute field goal with 15 seconds left in the game by a then little known freshman named Michael Jordan to win 63-62 and give coach Smith his first NCAA title.

Michael Jordan left college after his junior year for the Chicago Bulls where he became one of the greatest players to ever play the game, leading the Bulls to six NBA titles and being named the NBA finals’ MVP six times.

James Worthy who went on to a stellar career with the Lakers was the MVP in the NCAA finals game as he led the Tar Heels with 28 points. Sam Perkins added 10 points and 7 rebounds and Jordan totaled 16 points and 9 rebounds.

Patrick Ewing led Georgetown with 23 points and 11 rebounds while Sleepy Floyd added 18 points and Eric Smith had 14

Georgetown returned to the NCAA final in 1984 while North Carolina was back in 1993.

The 1982 Final Four had besides Worthy, Jordan, and Ewing, Houston sophomore Clyde Drexler and freshman Hakeem Olajuwon all of whom went on to Hall of Fame careers in the NBA.

Statistics for this article were from, and

No posts to display