Once, a long, long time ago, State had a top 5 basketball program. 1972-73 and 1973-74, State, Maryland, Orange County Community College, and UCLA were firmly planted in the top 10, often top 5, of college basketball. Thing was, back then only one team from the Atlantic Coast Conference could go to the NCAA tournament and State, Maryland, OCCC were all in the ACC.
State went undefeated in 1972-73, but that year State was on probation and couldn’t go to the tournament, even though they won the ACC Conference Championship. Perfect season, but no tourney run. (State’s probation involved David Thompson’s Mom’s driveway and asphalt. We’ll leave it at that.)
Next year State lost one game, to UCLA in December. Come March, State played the Bruins again in the NCAA tournament semi-finals and won. The championship game against Marquette became an afterthought and to be honest, anticlimactic.
When I graduated from high school in 1975 there was only one school I considered. Except for a brief period in the 80s under Valvano, State hasn’t done diddly squat since. But State hangs on my Christmas tree every year. And will until State wins another National Championship.
What’s one of your favorite Christmas tree ornaments?