North Carolina trailed 62-61 in the 1982 NCAA National Championship Game with 32 seconds remaining, and the final shot was only going to one person: Michael Jordan. Even on a team that consisted of James Worthy, Sam Perkins and Matt Doherty, Jordan, a freshman, stepped into a jumper on the elbow with 17 seconds remaining full of confidence -- and buried it. Moments later, Georgetown turned the ball over. Game over. UNC, your 1982 champions.
The sequence began a Hall of Fame's worth of memorable moments for Jordan, who was named to the All-Tournament team for his heroics that year. Not only did he help clinch UNC's second-ever national championship as a true freshman in an era where freshmen rarely made an impact, he was the poster child for defeating mighty Georgetown, a program that reached three Final Fours in the 1980s and would go on to win it all in 1984. In the title game, Jordan finished with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 assists, and one clutch jumper that will live on in Tar Heels lore forever.
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Jordan also out-dueled another notable freshman in the title game in Georgetown star Patrick Ewing. Ewing was also named to the NCAA All-Tournament team after scoring 23 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, both team-highs. But Jordan hitting the shot and stealing the show was fate, setting in motion a career that many will regard as the best among any athlete ... ever.
"That was the birth of Michael Jordan," said Jordan in 2016 in an interview with Craig Sager. "Before then I was Mike Jordan. All of a sudden, I make that shot and I'm Michael Jordan. 3or me, it started my career."