Mocs Athletics Host Facebook Watch Party: Focus On the 80s
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
What’s the greatest 5-year run in Chattanooga Mocs basketball history? There’s solid arguments to made for three different segments, but tonight’s Chattanooga Athletics Facebook Watch Party focuses on the ‘80s.
“5 Golden Years” was a look back at the 1981-85 seasons. It was produced by WDEF 12 led by then sports director Randy Smith who narrated the highlight-packed era. How special was it?
The Mocs won or shared four Southern Conference Regular Season Championships to go with three tournament titles and the first three of the program’s 11 trips to the NCAA Division I Basketball Big Dance.
The first SoCon crowns – regular season & tourney – in 1981.
-The first NCAA DI Tournament win in 1982 over 1983 Champion N.C. State.
-Tying the school record for wins with 27 in 1982.
-First finish with a DI national ranking at No. 15 in the AP poll.
-Five straight postseason berths with NIT trips in 1984 and ’85 defeating Georgia in ’84 before a run to the quarterfinals in ’85 topping Clemson at home and Lamar on the road before losing at -Louisville, the 1986 NCAA Champ.
The names resonate with DI era scoring leader Willie White, longtime NBA star Gerald Wilkins, Nick Morken, Stanford Strickland, Russ Schoene and many more. Names that litter the program records from start to finish.
They led the Mocs to a 122-32 (.792) record overall, 67-13 (.838) in SoCon play beating teams from the ACC (N.C. State & Clemson), SEC (Mississippi State & Georgia) and Southwest Conferences (Rice).
The 1973-77 squads went to four straight NCAA DII Tournaments with the last two finishing as runner-up before claiming the 1977 title. The 1974 campaign ended with the first 20-win ledger.
The 90’s had two notable runs. The 1991-95 spurt included at least a share of four regular season and the first division title. The last three ended with tourney crowns and the second 3-year NCAA Tournament run in school history.
Take away the first two years and including the following two made for an eye-popping run from 1993-97. Two regular season and two division wins and four NCAA trips culminating in the 1997 Sweet 16 run to end it. No matter where you fall in the argument, give “5 Golden Years” a watch tonight at 8 p.m., on our Facebook Watch Party.