Looking for "20 Win" Seasons

Since 1982, NC State has only won 20 games in a regular season on two occasions. In 1988 they did it with a 23-6 record. One year later the Pack posted a regular season record of 20-7. In the same time period, Wolfpackers have seen some 20+ seasons at Duke and UNC-CH being treated as Ho-Hum disappointments.

For NC State fans, 20 wins in a regular season is something to appreciate. In our excitement of the moment, TSW decided to take a closer look at Wolfpack Basketball for the last 20 years.

We also wanted to put things in historical perspective, looking at some of the main events during the last 20 years. Sometimes history has a way of reminding us of what is rare and special.

Below is a 20 year timeline that summarizes NC State's records for each year. Also, for people who mark calendar time as "season and off-season" we highlight the year's events that have passed since '82. If you missed the Challenger explosion, cabbage patch kids, and the Florida recount, we welcome you back to the present by catching you up with the past.

TSW Timeline

1983


  • NC State defeats Houston 54-52 for the NCAA Championship in Albuquerque, N.M. The Pack finishes the regular season at 17-10 while tieing Maryland for 3rd in the regular season with a 8-6 record. They reeled off 3 wins to capture the ACC Championship and 6 wins for the NCAA Championship. Their final record was 26-10.
  • Cabbage Patch Kids are Popular
  • Reagan Announces Defense Plan Called Star Wars
  • Sally Ride Becomes the First American Woman in Space
  • Soviets Shoot Down a Korean Airliner
  • U.S. Embassy in Beirut Bombed

    1984


  • The Pack finishes the regular season with a record of 19-12 and finishing 7th in the ACC with a 4-10 mark. They also were 0-1 the ACC and the NIT for 2 more losses. Final record was 19-14.
  • Huge Poison Gas Leak in Bhopal, India
  • Indira Gandhi, India's Prime Minister, Killed by Two Bodyguards
  • PG-13 Movie Rating Created
  • Vietnam War Memorial Opened in Washington, DC

    1985


  • State finishes the regular season with a record of 19-8 and ties for 1st in the ACC with a 9-5 mark. They split in the ACC tournament at 1-1 and made the elite 8 in the NCAAs with a 3-1 record. Final tally was 23-10.
  • Famine in Ethiopia
  • Hole in the Ozone Layer Discovered
  • Mikhail Gorbachev Calls for Glasnost and Perestroika
  • New Coke Hits the Market
  • Wreck of the Titanic Found

    1986


  • The Pack finishes the regular season with a record of 18-11 and 4th in the ACC with a 7-7 mark. They lost 1 in the ACC tournament and made the elite 8 in the NCAA with a 3-1 record for the second year in a row. Final record was 21-13.
  • Challenger Space Shuttle Explodes
  • Chernobyl Nuclear Accident
  • Ferdinand Marcos Flees the Philippines
  • Iran-Contra Scandal Unfolds
  • U.S. Bombs Libya
  • U.S.S.R. Launches Mir Space Station

    1987


  • NC State ends the regular season with a record of 17-14 and was 7-7 in conference play for a 6th place finish. They win the ACC Championship with 3 wins and lost 1 in the NCAAs. Final record was 20-15.
  • DNA First Used to Convict Criminals
  • Klaus Barbie, the Nazi Butcher of Lyons, Sentenced to Life in Prison
  • New York Stock Exchange Suffers Huge Drop on "Black Monday"
  • West German Pilot Lands Unchallenged in Russia's Red Square

    1988


  • The regular season saw the Pack finish in 2nd place with a 10-4 and 23-6 effort. They split in the ACC tournament and lost 1 in the NCAAs. Final record was 24-8.
  • Pan Am Flight 103 Is Bombed Over Lockerbie
  • U.S. Shoots Down Iranian Airliner

    1989


  • The Pack finish 1st in the regular season with a 10-4 and 20-7 record. This was the Pack's last 20+ win regular season. They lost 1 in the ACC tournament and went 2-1 in the NCAAs. Final record was 22-9.
  • Berlin Wall Falls
  • Exxon Valdez Spills Millions of Gallons of Oil on Coastline
  • Students Massacred in China's Tiananmen Square
  • U.S. President Bush Announces That He Doesn't Like Broccoli

    1990


  • State's record was 6-8 which tied for 4th in the regular season and was 18-11 overall. They lost 1 in the ACC tournament and were not permitted to play in the NCAA or NIT. Final record was 18-12.
  • Hubble Telescope Launched Into Space
  • Lech Walesa Becomes First President of Poland
  • Nelson Mandela Freed

    1991


  • Les Robinson debuts with a regular season record of 18-9 and finished league play at 8-6 which was good enough for 3rd place. They went 1-1 in both the ACC and NCAA tournaments. Final record was 20-11.
  • Bronze Age Man Found Frozen in Glacier
  • Collapse of the Soviet Union
  • Operation Desert Storm
  • South Africa Repeals Apartheid Laws

    1992


  • NC State's regular season ends at 12-17 with a 6-10 conference mark. They lost 1 in the ACC and went home for the season. Final record was 12-18
  • Official End of the Cold War
  • Riots in Los Angeles After the Rodney King Verdict

    1993


  • The Wolfpack finished the regular season tied for 8th at 2-14 and 8-18 total. They lost 1 in the ACC and went home. Final record was 8-19.
  • Cult Compound in Waco, Texas Raided
  • Use of the Internet Grows Exponentially
  • World Trade Center Bombed

    1994


  • The best the Pack can muster is a 5-11 last place conference record and a 11-18 regular season record. They again lose 1 in the ACC and went home. Final record was 11-19.
  • Channel Tunnel Opens, Connecting Britain and France
  • Lorena Bobbit Takes Brutal Revenge
  • Nelson Mandela Elected President of South Africa
  • O.J. Simpson Arrested for Double Murder
  • Rwandan Genocide Begins

    1995


  • The Pack finishes regular season play at 12-14 and had a conference record of 4-12. They finished 8th. They lose in the first game of the ACC Tournament and went home again. Final record was 12-15.
  • Ebola Virus Spreads in Zaire
  • Gas Attack in Tokyo Subway
  • Oklahoma City Bombing
  • Yitzhak Rabin Assassinated

    1996


  • NC State had an overall regular season record of 14-15, while posting a 3-13 league mark. They do win the play in game before being defeated in the 1st round of the ACC. Final record was 15-16.
  • Mad Cow Disease Hits Britain
  • Two Royal Divorces
  • Unabomber Arrested

    1997


  • Herb Sendek's first year saw the Pack go 13-13 and 4-12 in the regular season. They finished 8th. They made it to the final game of the ACC Tournament before being defeated. They went 1-1 in the NIT. Overall record was 17-15.
  • British Au Pair on Trial for Murder
  • Hale-Bopp Comet Visible
  • Hong Kong Returned to China
  • Pathfinder Sends Back Images of Mars
  • Princess Diana Dies in Car Crash
  • Scientists Clone Sheep
  • Tallest Buildings in the World Built in Kuala Lumpur
  • Tiger Woods Wins Masters

    1998


  • Again the Pack finishes 8th with a 5-11 conference record while registering a 15-13 mark for the regular season. They went 1-1 in both the ACC and NIT Tournaments. Overall record was 17-15.
  • India and Pakistan Test Nuclear Weapons
  • Titanic Most Successful Movie Ever
  • U.S. President Clinton Impeached
  • Viagra on the Market

    1999


  • NC State makes progress. They tie for 5th place with a conference record of 6-10. For the regular season they were 17-12. They again went 1-1 in the ACC and NIT Tournaments. Final record was 19-14.
  • The Euro the New European Currency
  • Fear of Y2K Bug
  • JFK Jr. Dies in Plane Accident
  • Killing Spree at Columbine High School
  • NATO Attacks Serbia
  • Panama Canal Returns to Panama

    2000


  • NC State continues to make progress with a 6-10 conference record and 16-11 overall regular season record. They also go 1-1 in the ACC tournament while reaching the semi-finals in the NIT going 3-1. Final tally was 20-13.
  • Florida Recount
  • Judge rules Microsoft a monopoly
  • The dot.com implosion
  • Russian submarine Kursk sinks

    2001


  • NC State has a setback season going 13-15 and 5-11 for a 7th place finish in the conference. They also go 0-1 in the ACC tournament and went home. Overall record was 13-16.
  • 9-11-2001
  • Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings


    Much time and few 20 win seasons have past. Unfortunately for those of us who have been looking and waiting for that special and much appreciated benchmark, it has been a dreadful time. Even if you allow post season play to count toward the win totals, the Wolfpack still is hard pressed for *20 win success.

    Will NC State win 20 games in the regular season in 2002? Things are looking good. The Pack sits with 19 wins to date. The remaining schedule which includes @Georgia Tech, UNC-Ch and @Wake Forest looks promising for #20. The Pack is playing with no signs of a meltdown, and it looks like it will soon be reality! The anticipated event will be special and extremely rare. NC State fans know how to appreciate what is about to take place.


    Annual NC State Results

                                 ACC    Non   Post-
    Year  Overall  ACC  Finish Tourney  ACC   Season
    1954   28-7    5-3   (4)     3-0   18-3   NCAA 2-1
    1955   28-4   12-2   (1)     3-0   12-2
    1956   24-4   11-3   (T1)    3-0    8-1   NCAA 0-1
    1957  15-11    7-7   (T4)    0-1    7-2
    1958   18-6   10-4   (T2)    1-1    6-0
    1959   22-4   12-2   (T1)    3-0    7-2
    1960  11-15    5-9   (6)     1-1    5-5
    1961   16-9    8-6   (4)     0-1    6-2
    1962   11-6   10-4   (3)     0-1    1-1
    1963  10-11    5-9   (T4)    1-1    4-1
    1964   8-11   4-10   (T7)    0-1    4-0
    1965   21-5   10-4   (T2)    3-0    8-1   NCAA 1-1
    1966   18-9    9-5   (2)     2-1    7-3
    1967   7-19   2-12   (8)     0-1    5-7
    1968  16-10    9-5   (T3)    2-1    5-4
    1969  15-10    8-6   (T3)    0-1    6-3
    1970   23-7    9-5   (T2)    3-0   11-2   NCAA 0-1
    1971  13-14    5-9   (T6)    1-1    5-4
    1972  16-10    6-6   (T4)    0-1    9-2
    1973   27-0   12-0   (1)     2-0   11-0
    1974   30-1   12-0   (1)     2-0   14-1   NCAAChamp
    1975   22-6    8-4   (T2)    2-1   11-0
    1976   21-9    7-5   (T2)    0-1   13-2   NIT 3-1
    1977  17-11    6-6   (5)     1-1   10-2
    1978  21-10    7-5   (3)     0-1   13-3   NIT 3-1
    1979  18-12    3-9   (6)     1-1   13-1
    1980   20-8    9-5   (T2)    0-1   10-1   NCAA 0-1
    1981  14-13   4-10   (7)     0-1    9-1
    1982  22-10    7-7   (4)     1-1   14-2   NCAA 0-1
    1983  26-10    8-6   (T3)    3-0   14-4   NCAAChamp
    1984  19-14   4-10   (7)     0-1   15-3   NIT 0-1
    1985  23-10    9-5   (T1)    1-1   13-4   NCAA 3-1
    1986  21-13    7-7   (4)     0-1   14-5   NCAA 3-1
    1987  20-15    6-8   (6)     3-0   11-7   NCAA 0-1
    1988   24-8   10-4   (2)     1-1   13-3   NCAA 0-1
    1989   22-9   10-4   (1)     0-1   12-4   NCAA 2-1
    1990  18-12    6-8   (T4)    0-1   12-3
    1991  20-11    8-6   (T3)    1-1   11-4   NCAA 1-1
    1992  12-18   6-10   (7)     0-1    6-7
    1993   8-19   2-14   (T8)    0-1    6-4
    1994  11-19   5-11   (9)     0-1    6-8   
    1995  12-15   4-12   (8)     0-1    8-2
    1996  15-16   3-13   (9)     1-1   11-2
    1997  17-15   4-12   (8)     3-1    9-1   NIT 1-1
    1998  17-15   5-11   (8)     1-1   11-3   NIT 1-1
    1999  19-14   6-10   (T5)    1-1   12-3   NIT 1-1
    2000  20-13   6-10   (5)     1-1   13-2   NIT 3-1
    2001  13-16   5-11   (7)     0-1    8-4
    

    Thanks to ACC.Com and History in Review for factual content in this article.


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