In the third of our five-part series celebrating the 50th anniversary of the start of Georgia State men’s basketball at the Division I level, we take a moment to look at some of the most memorable contests in Panther history.
|Men's Basketball 50th Anniversary Series|
|Monday: History 50 Years in the Making|
|Tuesday: A Sitdown with Dave Cohen|
|Wednesday: Dave Cohen's Top 10 Games|
|Thursday: Dave Cohen's Top 10 Players|
|Friday: Dave Cohen's Top 10 Moments|
The Voice of the Panthers, Dave Cohen sat down with GeorgiaStateSports.com recently to rank what he believes are the top 10 games in program history. Cohen is in his 31st year calling games for GSU, and has announced more than 900 games during his career that started seven years before the Panthers' first NCAA tournament appearance.
After reading Cohen’s list, make sure to let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram which games would make your list. Then come back on Thursday to see the fourth part in the series as Cohen looks at the top 10 players in Georgia State history.
The program’s first Division I win during the 1963-64 season – This is the only game on my list that I did not see, but considering it was the program’s first win at the Division I level and came against the College of Charleston, I figured it needed to be included on the list. The Panthers scored an 80-60 win early in 1964 to pick up win No. 1.
CIT Postseason Tournament Win Against Tennessee Tech (March 13, 2012) – The second postseason win in program history came 10 years to the day after playing the same Tennessee Tech squad in the Postseason NIT. The Panthers won in impressive fashion, 73-42, giving GSU 22-wins, the second-most in program history.
Rocky Topped (Dec. 13, 1983) – Georgia State started the 1983-84 season 0-5 before heading to Knoxville, Tenn. As the final buzzer sounded, Tony Graham hit a jumper to give Georgia State a 52-50 win over Tennessee and shock the folks on Rocky Top. This was the first marquee win for the Panthers, coming on the road in Knoxville. This game is also one of the early games in my career at GSU and one I will never forget.
||Down Go the Rams (Jan. 4, 2012) – During coach Ron Hunter’s first season, Georgia State earned an impressive 55-53 victory over VCU in Richmond, Va., in front of a sellout crowd. The win was GSU’s 11th straight and solidified the program as on the rise under Hunter. VCU was coming off a run to the Final Four and the win really put the Panthers on the map during a remarkable 22-win season. It is arguably the best regular-season while we were members of the CAA.
|6||Win at Auburn (Dec. 22, 2003) – During Mike Perry’s first full-season as head coach after taking over for Charles “Lefty” Driesell, the Panthers scored their last win over an SEC opponent, taking down Auburn 77-72. The win helped propel the Panthers to a 20-win season. GSU shot 55.8-percent from the floor as Nate Williams scored 28 points in the victory.|
|5||2001 TAAC Championship (March 3, 2001) – Arguably the biggest win for the Panthers in the Sports Arena in program history. With an impressive 79-55 win over Troy, the Panthers cut down the nets on their home court to advance to the NCAA tournament. More than 4,000 fans packed the GSU Sports Arena in what turned out to be more of a coronation than a game as Charles “Lefty” Driesell got to cut down the last piece of the net.|
|4||First NCAA tournament Appearance (March 15, 1991) – The Panthers first game in the NCAA tournament came against Arkansas in the old Omni, giving Georgia State a home game feel just up the street from campus. Despite falling to the Razorbacks 117-76, getting to play just up the street was special for all of the Panther faithful.|
|3||1991 TAAC Championship Win (March 7, 1991) – Georgia State had never beaten UALR in 16 games and most thought that the TAAC Championship title game would be the same as the Panthers entered the championship with a 13-14 record. However, the 17th-time proved to be the lucky charm. With an impressive 80-60 win, Georgia State advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. The win concluded an impressive three-day run for the Panthers in DeLand, Fla., against a field they were 0-6 against during the regular season.|
|2||Down Go The Dawgs (Nov. 17, 2000) – There was a lot of talk entering the 2000-01 season that it looked like Georgia State might have a special team. Well, a blow-out win over Georgia in Athens got the season off to a perfect start. The final was 91-79, but it was never even that close. We saw the emergence of talented players like Shernard Long, Kevin Morris, Thomas Terrell and many others. The win started a seven-game winning streak to begin the season, one that resulted in a 29-win year.|
|1||Boise Becomes Upset City (March 15, 2001) – There was no question that this would be No. 1 on my list. Georgia State travelled to Boise, Idaho, for its second NCAA tournament appearance. Facing No. 6-seed Wisconsin, many did not give the Panthers a chance and trailing by as many as 16 in the first half, it looked like it would be a short trip. However, Kevin Morris hit a 3-pointer as the first half expired and the comeback was on. Darryl Cooper’s four-point play with 48 seconds left got the Panthers within one. His steal and a lay-up by Shernard Long with 12-seconds to play secured a 50-49 victory over the Badgers, but not until after two missed free throws by Mark Vershaw. It was the Panthers’ first win in the postseason and started a crazy day in Boise as three of the four games at that regional site ended in upsets. Georgia State went on to face Maryland in the second round, a team formerly coached by then-GSU head coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell. It made for a wild week in Boise and one that I will never forget.|