NC State legend David Thompson and Duke great Christian Laettner are the first two members of the inaugural Men’s Basketball class in the ACC Hall of Fame.The Hall unveiled a six-member class throughout the week. The class was determined by a selection panel of nearly two dozen longtime ACC journalists from North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the rest of the league’s footprint. (NSJ sportswriters Brett Friedlander and Shawn Krest were both on the panel.) The panel has more than 400 years combined experience covering ACC basketball.Thompson was the only unanimous selection to the Hall. A three-time ACC Player of the Year, he led NC State to the 1974 NCAA Championship, highlighted by an upset of defending seven-time champion UCLA in the Final Four. The year before, Thompson led NC State to an undefeated 27-0 season.Laettner was also selected to the Hall class of 2017, with 90.9 percent of the media vote. The Blue Devils big man led Duke to back-to-back NCAA titles in 1991 and 1992 and was one of the first players to compete in four straight Final Fours.Laettner was ACC Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992 and was consensus national player of the year in 1992.Both Thompson and Laettner took part in games that are on the short list for best game in college basketball history. Thompson led NC State to a win over Maryland in the 1974 ACC Tournament final, 103-100 in overtime. Thompson scored 29 points in the game, which determined the ACC’s lone representative in the 1974 NCAA Tournament. The epic game was one factor that convinced the NCAA to allow multiple representatives from each league.Laettner hit a game-winning buzzer beater to beat Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA Regional Final, 104-103 in overtime. Laettner had a perfect shooting game, hitting all 10 shots from the field and all 10 free throws he took. He scored 31 points with seven rebounds and caught Grant Hill’s full-court pass with 2.1 seconds remaining, then calmly hit a turnaround jumper as time expired for the win.UVA legend Ralph Sampson and former NC State head coach Everett Case were also named as part of the class on Wednesday.
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