192 The History of Wake Forest
the top four universities in the nation on the basis of academic program spending
per student ($41,766).
Attention also focused on the President’s health as the year went on. He under-
went cardiac surgery on February 16 for a leaking mitral valve, which was discovered
during a routine physical. The problem was caught before any permanent damage
was done, but the valve could be corrected only by surgery. His doctors advised him
not to schedule any appointments until after the first of April, and he complied. In his
absence, senior administrators cooperated, and the semester progressed as usual. The
President returned to a part-time schedule in early April and by May had resumed an
almost normal schedule.
In athletics, Wake Forest men’s basketball won the Atlantic Coast Conference
title on March 12. Led by the dynamic duo of Randolph Childress and Tim Duncan,
the team defeated the University of North Carolina in overtime 82–80 in the Deacons’
first ACC men’s basketball championship in thirty-three years. The team’s winning
percentage of .813 was the highest since the 1927 team went 22–3 (.880), and it also
tied a school record for the highest national ranking of third, last achieved in 1981.
The team won twelve straight games, again, the longest winning streak since 1981.
Overall, it had the most wins (26–6) in Wake Forest history and the first win over the
UNC Tarheels (79–70) in the Dean Smith Center. It also set a new home attendance
record of 11,959 per game. Based on winning the ACC tournament and earning a
share of the regular season championship, the team entered the NCAA tournament
as the number 1 seed in the east. Its fifth straight NCAA tournament appearance was
the longest streak in school history. Unfortunately, the Deacons were eliminated from
the tournament in the Sweet Sixteen by Oklahoma State, 71–66.
By the end of the season, Coach David Odom had led the Deacons to 104 wins
since 1991, the best five-year record in school history. He earned his hundredth win
on January 25: 66–60 over Clemson. Randolph Childress, who set an ACC tourna-
ment record with 107 points over three days, was selected to the first-team All-ACC
for the second consecutive year, and the Associated Press picked him as a second-team
All-American. He also broke through as one of the top five performers in Wake Forest
The Deacons celebrate their ACC men’s basketball championship