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Wolfpack Women’s & Men’s Teams Dance On To The Final Four

SourceWRAL

The N.C. State Wolfpack owns the college basketball world right now. The men’s and women’s teams came into their respective NCAA Basketball Tournaments and put the college basketball community on notice. Both teams will play in the Final Four with a chance of being crowned 2023-2024 national champion.

If you are a Wolfpack alum or just a die-hard fan then you know this has been a long time coming for both sports. Don’t worry, as there will be no mentions of the other local rival schools except for them losing to N.C. State. You have our excuse to party all week long like it’s 1983 or 1998! Let’s take a look at how both teams punched their tickets to the Final Four.

The Lady Wolfpack has had pretty good seasons over the years but, this season the Pack started the season unranked. This team took that to heart and won 14 straight games to start the season including beating powerhouse UConn Lady Huskies in the process. After that hot start, there was a mix of ups and a few downs during the season as the Pack lost to Notre Dame in the ACC Championship game but it was time to shake off the season and get ready for March Madness.

The ladies came into March and ran through national powerhouse teams in Tennessee and Stanford before knocking off the top seed Texas by a score of 77-66 in the regional final. Aziaha James led the way with 27 points. The Wolfpack will take on the number one overall seed and undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks. The Lady Pack arrived in Raleigh at 3 am to a roaring crowd with Head Coach Wes Moore addressing the roaring crowd in Raleigh.

 “Thank y’all, this means so much,” Moore said. “You guys being here … it’s so much fun doing it with you guys, the fans, everybody makes it so exciting here. Thank you so much for coming out and doing this.”  

On the men’s side it was just a little over two weeks ago the Wolfpack entered the ACC tournament with a record of 16-14 and no shot of making any tournament. On top of a not-so-great season, the only way this team would play in March is by pulling off the unthinkable in winning five games in five days in the ACC Tournament. Well, they did that and beat UNC and Duke in the process. 

This team carried over that energy through the NCAA tournament by knocking off Texas Tech, Oakland, and Marquette before knocking off Duke for the second time in three weeks in the regional final. Let’s pause and put this into perspective. The Wolfpack knocked off UNC for the ACC title and Duke to clinch a spot in the Final Four in the same season. Talk about bragging rights at the water cooler.

The Pack clinched their spot in the Final Four by knocking off Duke 76-64. D.J. Burns led the way with 29 points with 21 of those scored in the second half. The Duke Blue Devil defense, which was one of the best in the tournament, had no answer for the big man. Combine Burns’s dominance with cold shooting in the second half from the Blue Devils and you get the Wolfpack clinching a Final Four spot for the first time since 1983

That year the Wolfpack won it all in one of the most historic games in sports history. The images of 1983 are still visible today as the Wolfpack knocked off heavy favorite Houston at the buzzer to win the title. Images of Wolfpack legendary head coach Jimmy Valvano running around the court in pure excitement looking for someone to hug is still an iconic moment in sports history.

The Wolfpack will now take on Purdue in the Final Four in a clash between the top big men under the basket in Purdue’s Zach Edey and N.C. State’s D.J. Burns. Stay tuned and see if the Cardiac Pack pulls off another historic run 40 years later.

Good luck to both teams as they pursue championship greatness at the Final Four! 

Read more on the Wolfpack Final Four run here

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