State Win Not the First Against a Defending Champ

Brett Friedlander

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Okay, so this Virginia basketball team is clearly not the same one that one the national championship in Minneapolis last April.

But that doesn't change the fact that the Cavaliers are still the defending champions, which means that NC State's 53-51 victory Monday is one for the record books -- other than for being its first ever win at John Paul Jones Arena.

But it's not the first time the Wolfpack has taken down a defending champ. In fact, this is the third time it's happened since 2005 -- although it has taken State 17 chances to pull of those wins.

The most recent of those victories came in 2017-18, when coach Kevin Keatts' first State team took down then-No. 10 North Carolina 95-91 in overtime at the Dean Dome. 

The other came all the way back in 2004-05, when the Wolfpack upset UConn 65-62 in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Worchester, Mass., to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first of two times during the tenure of coach Mark Gottfried.

Here are the other instances in which State went head-to-head against the defending champs since the turn of the current century (and didn't do as well):

2017-18: UNC 96, State 89

2015-16: Duke 88, State 78; Duke 88, State 80; Duke 92, State 89 (ACC tournament)

2010-11: Duke 92, State 78; Duke 76, State 52

2009-10: UNC 77, State 63; UNC 74, State 61

2005-06: Duke 81, State 68

2002-03: Maryland 75, State 60; Maryland 68, State 65

2001-02: Duke 75, State 57; Duke 108, State 71; Duke 91, State 61 (ACC tournament)