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7 Mormons Who Made March Madness History


Thurl Bailey

Though he wouldn't join the Church for another decade and a half, in 1983 Thurl Bailey became a March Madness legend. Bailey led his North Carolina State Wolfpack in scoring and rebounding during a regular season that was good enough to earn his team the 6th seed in the tournament's West bracket. Despite their low seeding, Bailey's Wolfpack defied expectations, beating Pepperdine, UNLV, Utah, Virginia, and Georgia to reach the championship game. In the final, NC State beat the heavy favorites, Houston's legendary "Phi Slama Jama" squad (which featured current BYU head coach Dave Rose), on a buzzer-beating dunk by Lorenzo Charles. NC State's Cinderella run is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history.

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