COLUMBUS, Ohio — John Thompson III doesn't remember the last time N.C. State and Georgetown met in the NCAA tournament, but his dad does.
Georgetown, coached by John Thompson, beat N.C. State, 69-61 in the Round of 16 in the 1989 NCAA tournament. Wolfpack guard Chris Corchiani was called for a travel with 1:47 left in the game, which was the second game the Hoyas won in that tournament which included a controversial finish.
Georgetown, the No. 1 seed in the East, beat 16th-seeded Princeton in the first round in '89 when Alonzo Mourning blocked a shot by Princeton guard Bob Scrabis at the buzzer.
"When you were asking that question the first thing that went through my head was there are a lot of people in Princeton, New Jersey who think Alonzo Mourning fouled Bobby Scrabis on the last shot of that game, too," Thompson III said Saturday. "So that must have been a theme that year."
As soon as Thompson III finished his comments, his dad — standing behind a curtain next to where the press conference was set up at Nationwide Arena — boomed: "And both of them are wrong."
The Hoyas and Wolfpack will get together again in the NCAA tournament on Sunday (12:15 p.m.) with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line. The elder Thompson, who is in Columbus doing radio for Westwood One, had little sympathy for N.C. State fans, who through the magic of YouTube, are still smarting from referee Rick Hartzell's travel call on Corchiani.
“Who won that game?” Thompson said. “If we had lost, and it had been the other way, I’d be doing the same thing they are.”
Corchiani watched N.C. State's second-round win over San Diego State and will be at the arena for Sunday's game said he didn't watch a replay of the call for 15 years.
"I remembered it well enough when happened," Corchiani said.
With 1:47 left, and the Wolfpack down three, Corchiani drove down the left side of the lane and dropped in a shot over Mourning, Georgetown's dominant center. Instead of a potential three-point play, and a fifth foul on Mourning, Hartzell called a travel on Corchiani.
"There it is!" CBS analyst Billy Packer said during the broadcast of the game, in reference to Mourning's fifth foul.
After Hartzell's call becomes clear, Packer was incredulous.
"Nowhere near a walk," Packer said.
Corchiani made peace with the call before the start of the 1989-90 season. Hartzell worked a preseason game at Reynolds Coliseum and, according to Corchiani, apologized to him and former coach Jim Valvano for getting the call wrong.
"I have nothing but respect for (Hartzell)," Corchiani said. "It's kind of ironic that they would play Georgetown again but I'm over that game."
Corchiani and the 1989 N.C. State team were recently in the spotlight again after Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta were thrown out of the N.C. State-Florida State game on Feb. 18 in Raleigh by referee Karl Hess.
Corchiani and the '89 team, which won the regular-season ACC title, were honored before the UNC game in Raleigh with the "Wolfpack Unlimited" award on Feb. 21.