The 20th Anniversary of NCAA Basketball in Boise.

It was 20 years ago that Jimmy Valvano took his 6th seeded North Carolina State into the NCAA playoffs and won 6 straight games becoming the greatest Cinderella team in NCAA history. It is also the twentieth anniversary of NCAA Basketball Tournament action in Boise Idaho.

The Boise State Pavilion was completed in May 1982 and Boise State had already submitted a bid to hold the NCAA Basketball Western Sub-regional in the Pavilion in 1983. Although the first 5 rows of seats were not yet installed in the bottom section of the Parquet in the Pavilion, temporary seats and tables were brought in for the media and VIP's to bring the Pavilions' seating up to the required 12,000 capacity.

In 1983, only 52 teams were invited to the NCAA Division 1 Basketball Championships. Sixteen teams had first round byes and 8 teams had play-in games. The Selection Committee was very generous to Boise sending the number 2 rated Virginia Cavaliers with Ralph Sampson, 1983's best player and UCLA, the most successful NCAA basketball team of all time to play in the Pavilion.

In the Thursday games, Tenth seed Utah upset 7th seed Illinois 52 to 49, and 8th seed Washington State beat 9th seed Weber State College 62-52. The most popular player in the games played in Boise was Craig Elo of Washington State. The Boise crowd chanted "Elo, Elo, Elo" as the guard brought the ball up court.

On Friday in the other Western Sub-regional games in Corvallis, Oregon, 6th seed North Carolina State beat a pesky 11th seed Pepperdine in double overtime 69-67! It was the only game in the tournament that North Carolina State was favored to win.

On Saturday in Boise, Tenth seeded Utah upset the number 2 seeded UCLA Bruins 67-61. The Boise fans made Utah feel like they were playing at home as the pro-Utah crowd cheered the Utes on to their big upset. Although the Boise crowd was pulling for the Elo-lead Washington State Cougars, Ralph Simpson and the number 1 seeded Virginia Cavaliers cruised to a 54 to 49 victory in the second game.

The NCAA officials were impressed by Boise and personal at Boise State and promised to have the event return to Boise in the near future. It would take six years before Boise would host the Western Sub-regional again.

On Sunday in Corvallis, the 6th seed North Carolina upset the 3rd seed UNLV Rebels 71-70. North Carolina State would go on to beat the teams coming out of Boise the following week. They hammered Utah 75-56 before upsetting the number 1 seed Virginia 63-62 in Ogden, Utah!

North Carolina State went on to make NCAA history the following week by beating Georgia 67-60 and then the heavily favored number 1 Houston in the final, 54 to 52 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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