Paul Housman might have been closer to Lorenzo Charles than Houstons Akeem Olajuwon, a fact thats not lost on Housman.
Olajuwon was out near the foul line somewhere. Im not sure what he was doing, Housman said last week.
Housman was the referee under the basket in the final seconds of the N.C. State-Houston game at the Pit. When the Packs Dereck Whittenburg launched a last-gasp 30-footer, the Cougars Olajuwon was caught in no-mans land in the lane, and the Packs Charles was alone under the basket.
Housman said his eyes drifted to Charles and that he likely had the same thought as thousands of Wolfpack fans.
I was like, For God sake, dont goal tend, Housman said.
Charles didnt, slamming through the dunk that made the Pack a 54-52 winner.
Houston was supposed to beat State but they played right into States hands, Housman said. But State had played a bunch of tough games.
Housman was chosen to work the title game with Hank Nichols and Joe Forte. All three had called ACC games, but there was no tension over the assignment, Housman said.
We were loose and relaxed before the game, singing rail tracks two miles long, Housman said. We were just hoping we had a good game and the kids had a good game.
Housman, 77, lives in Salem, Va. He retired as a ref in 1990 after 30 years in stripes.
Where does the 1983 national championship game rank among all his games?
It has to be No. 1, he said.