In the final game, 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. From the second halfof the Cougars came out with another wind and based 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 had to deal with the city’s mile-high altitude. The Cougars’ star center, Akeem Olajuwon, had problems adjusting to the surroundings and drained quickly, needing to test from the game multiple times so he could put on an oxygen mask and recuperate. With Olajuwon on the seat, Houston head coach Guy Lewis determined that in order to protect the lead and the health of his big man in the exact same period, the Cougars had to begin slowing down the game. Yet more, this enabled the Wolfpack to go back to their standby strategy of extending the match. Houston’s free throw shooting was very suspect entering the game, which functioned greatly in NC State’s favor as they could rally back and even the score at 52 in the last two minutes. On what would be the last Houston possession, Valvano known for his players to back away and allow freshman guard Alvin Franklin bring the ball up the court. The Wolfpack defenders would let the Cougars employ their slowdown strategy of passing around. Once the ball got back to Franklin he was to be fouled immediately. With 1:05 left, the freshman was fouled and sent into the line for a one-and-one. The thought to filthy Franklin sprung from the enormity of this second; NC State thought that the comparatively inexperienced Franklin couldn’t withstand the pressure of going to the line with the championship at stake and knowing fifty million viewers were tuned in to watch the match. The theory proved right as Franklin failed to convert the Wolfpack grabbed the rebound. Valvano called timeout with 44 seconds left and drew up a play for mature defender Dereck Whittenburg during the timeout, which called for the group to pass him the ball ten seconds left on the clock so that he could take the last shot. Houston had 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 defense his team had been running the whole match to a half court zone trap defense. The Wolfpack, who weren’t anticipating the defensive adjustment, were forced to deviate and began passing the ball around just to keep the Cougars from slipping it. Houston almost obtained the turnover it was searching for when Whittenburg made an errant pass to Gannon that Drexler nearly came away with before the sophomore regained control of the ball. The ball eventually wound up in the hands of guard Sidney Lowe, who lent it to forward and fellow mature Thurl Bailey in the corner. Trying to keep the ball moving, as he was double teamed as soon as he received the pass, Bailey looked back toward Whittenburg, who had been approximately thirty feet away from the hoop near midcourt. Bailey threw what Whittenburg would call a”poor fundamental” overhanded pass that Houston’s Benny Anders, guarding Whittenburg about the play, was in position to steal. Now, Whittenburg hearkened back to his high school days with Morgan Wootten in DeMatha Catholic High School, where he had been taught to always catch the basketball with both hands. If Whittenburg hadn’t tried to do this in this case, Anders may have gotten the slip and a game-winning breakaway layup. In college basketball in the moment, the game clock continued to operate following a made field goal, and the Wolfpack probably wouldn’t have had time to inbound the ball. As it was, Anders knocked the ball from 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 objective. Once 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 watched the shot, Olajuwon said he understood the shooter was likely to come up short but he also did not want to select the ball too early due to the prospect of goaltending. Charles took advantage of the indecision from Olajuwon and went up for the air balland, in 1 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 that, the match ended, and the Wolfpack were the national champions. Read more: