In the last match, performed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, NC State led at halftime by a score of 33–25. Houston was hampered by foul trouble that plagued celebrity Clyde Drexler, who picked up four first half fouls. In the second halfof the Cougars came out with a second wind and established control of the match, eventually taking a seven-point lead.
However, things were not all great for Houston. Considering that the game was played Albuquerque, players needed to deal with the town’s mile-high altitude. The Cougars’ star centre, Akeem Olajuwon, had problems adjusting to the surroundings and drained quickly, needing to test from the game multiple times so that he could wear an oxygen mask and recover. Together with Olajuwon on the seat, Houston head coach Guy Lewis decided that so as to safeguard the lead and the health of his huge man at precisely the same period, the Cougars needed to begin slowing down the game.
Once more, this allowed the Wolfpack to go back to their own standby strategy of extending the match. Houston’s free throw shooting was quite suspect entering the game, which functioned heavily in NC State’s favor since they could rally back and even the score at 52 in the last two minutes. On what would be the final Houston ownership, Valvano called for his players to back off and allow guard Alvin Franklin bring the ball up the court. The Wolfpack defenders would let the Cougars use their slowdown strategy of passing it around. When the ball got back to Franklin he was fouled immediately. With 1:05 left, the freshman was fouled and sent into the line for a one-and-one. The idea to filthy Franklin sprung from the enormity of the second; NC State believed that the relatively inexperienced Franklin could not withstand the pressure of going to the line together with the championship at stake and understanding that fifty million viewers were tuned into watch the game. The concept proved correct as Franklin failed to convert and the Wolfpack grabbed the rally. Valvano called timeout with 44 seconds left and drew up a play for mature defender Dereck Whittenburg through the timeout, which called for the group to pass him the ball with ten minutes left on the clock so he could take the last shot.
Houston needed a defensive stop in order that they could find another chance to close out the game. Lewis decided to move in the man-to-man shield his team was running the entire match to a half court trap defense. The Wolfpack, who were not expecting the defensive modification, were forced to deviate and began passing the ball around just to maintain the Cougars from slipping it. Houston almost got the turnover it was looking for when Whittenburg made an errant pass to Gannon which Drexler nearly came away with before the sophomore regained control of the ball. The ball finally wound up in the palms of protector Sidney Lowe, who gave it to forwards and fellow senior Thurl Bailey in the corner.
Attempting to keep the ball going, as he had been double teamed when he received the pass, Bailey appeared back toward Whittenburg, that was roughly thirty feet away from the hoop near midcourt. Bailey threw what Whittenburg would later call a”poor fundamental” overhanded pass which Houston’s Benny Anders, guarding Whittenburg about the drama, was able to steal. At this point, Whittenburg hearkened back to his high school days together with Morgan Wootten in DeMatha Catholic High School, where he had been taught to always grab the basketball with both hands. If Whittenburg hadn’t attempted to do this in this case, Anders might have gotten the slip and a game-winning breakaway layup. In college basketball at the time, the match clock continued to run following a made field goal, and the Wolfpack likely wouldn’t have had time even to inbound the ball. Since it was, Anders knocked the ball out of Whittenburg’s hands, but Whittenburg quickly regained control.
The clock, meanwhile, had ticked down to five minutes and Whittenburg was still standing a significant distance from the goal. After he regained control, Whittenburg turned and launched a desperation shot, later claimed by Whittenburg to be a pass, to try and win the game for NC State. The shot’s trajectory took it on the front of the basket where Olajuwon was covering Wolfpack centre Lorenzo Charles. As he noticed the shot, Olajuwon said he knew the shooter was likely to come up short but he did not want to go for the ball too early due to the potential for goaltending. Charles took advantage of this indecision from Olajuwon and proceeded up for the air ball, and, in one motion, he scored the go-ahead points using a two-handed dunk. The last second ticked off the clock prior to Houston could inbound the ball, and with that, the match ended, and the Wolfpack were the national champions.
Read more: olympics2016livestreamings.com