Today in sports history (1974), the North Carolina State Wolfpack beat the Marquette Warriors in the 1974 NCAA Championship. This was NC State’s first championship. The Wolfpack was led by the legendary David Thompson. Marquette featured Bo Ellis and Lloyd Walton and was coached by the legendary Al McGuire.
The big story coming into the game was NC State beating UCLA in the Final Four. This put an end to UCLA’s streak of seven straight championship wins. The game was held in Greensboro, NC, basically giving the Wolfpack a home game. With their win over UCLA, many believed that NC State would complete the incredible end to their season and win the National Championship.
North Carolina State Wins First National Championship
Thompson was the catalyst for North Carolina State. He scored 21 points in the championship to lead the Wolfpack. Monte Towe added 16 points, while Tommy Burleson and Moe Rivers had 14 points each. What really swung the game in favor of the Wolfpack though was McGuire’s antics on the Marquette sideline. McGuire was called for two technical fouls in the final two and half minutes of the first half. This allowed the Wolfpack to rally from down 28-27 to up 39-30 at halftime.
The technicals came after Marquette was called for a charging foul on Marcus Washington. Ellis was called for goaltending, which led to McGuire running on the court and getting called for his second technical.
North Carolina State was able to coast to a victory after Marquette lost their leader. The Wolfpack won the game, 76-64. Thompson was named the tournament’s most outstanding player and joined Towe and Burleson on the All-Tournament team.