Longtime watchers of NC State basketball might have had a flashback Saturday at the end of State's 90-69 win over Wake Forest when Scott Wood, near the end of the game, sent a blind, behind-the-back pass to a trailing C.J. Williams for an emphatic dunk that charged up the RBC Center crowd.
Wood's coach, Sidney Lowe, bounced a similar pass to Thurl Bailey at the end of State's raucus 70-63 win over Michael Jordan and defending national champion UNC in Reynolds Coliseum in February 1983. That pass and dunk nearly caused the roof to cave in at old Reynolds and gave Jim Valvano his first win over Carolina.
Lowe noted the resemblance Friday. "Mine was a little more fancy," said Lowe, who was driving to the basket when he bounced the ball hard between his legs, setting up Bailey, who was streaking to the basket behind Lowe. "That was about as fancy as I have ever been."
Reynolds Coliseum thundered. State had lost seven in a row to Carolina and Bailey's dunk sealed the game. In a few seconds, the crowd would take the court. Bailey, who had 20 points and 6 rebounds, left the court with tears in his eyes.
Lowe told The N&O's J.P. Giglio he still remembers the noise. "It was crazy, it was unbelievable," he said. "That was a great play. I didn't know I was going to do it. I just did it and the crowd went crazy."
It wasn't Lowe's greatest game. He was 1 for 9 from the floor and 7 for 11 from the line. But he had 8 assists -- and last one was one to remember.
Here's how The N&O's Joe Tiede described the play:
The final two points came on a Wolfpack fast break after a missed outside shot by Carolina. Lowe fed Bailey on a between-the-legs pass for a dunk that sent Reynolds into bedlam and provided a fitting, closing touch to the Wolfpack victory.
Here's how Giglio described the play from Saturday's game:
Williams' easiest two points came after Wood stepped in front of a C.J. Harris pass intended for Travis McKie.
Wood streaked down the court while McKie closed him out. As Wood got to the basket, he dropped a bounce pass behind his back to a charging Williams. Williams caught the ball and flushed it with one hand and then posed with both arms out after Bzdelik called a timeout.
"I was thinking dunk, " Wood said. "Then I glanced back and saw [Williams]. It was either going to be a turnover or a heck of a play."