Mar 31, 2024 - Sports

N.C. State men and women are Final Four bound

nc state men's basketball team vs duke

Michael O'Connell, No. 12 of the N.C. State Wolfpack and DJ Burns Jr., No. 30, celebrate during their Elite Eight game against Duke. Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

N.C. State's magical run continues after the Wolfpack men beat in-state rival Duke 76-64 Sunday in the Elite Eight. On the same day, the Wolfpack's women's team, led by superstar Aziaha James, also marched on to the Final Four, taking out Texas 76-66.

Why it matters: It's the first time since 1983 that the Wolfpack's men's team has made the Final Four — the same year that an underdog N.C. State won the NCAA Tournament. It's also the first time ever that both its men's and women's programs are in the Final Four at the same time.

nc state women's basketball team
The N.C. State Wolfpack celebrates its 76-66 win over the Texas Longhorns during the Elite Eight round of the 2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at Moda Center on March 31 in Portland, Oregon. Photo: Brendall O'Banon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The big picture: It's incredible the Wolfpack men are even in this position

  • N.C. State lost its final four games of the regular season before entering the ACC Tournament.
  • It then ripped off five wins in five days to win the ACC Tournament, beating archrival UNC in the final and booking a bid into the NCAA Tournament.
  • Beating Duke in the Elite Eight is just another cathartic victory for a basketball program that was among the elite in the 1970s and 80s, before an extended championship drought.

Between the lines: The team's winning streak has reinvigorated a fan base that recently thought its men's head coach was in the hot seat. Now, those fans are rushing Hillsborough Street and packing bars and movie theaters to watch the Pack.

What happened: N.C. State's two DJs — Horne and Burns — continued to lead the way and capture the hearts of every neutral fan in the country.

  • Burns dropped 29 points and caused troubles for Duke's big men all game.
  • Horne, a Raleigh native who transferred to State by ways of Arizona State, added 20 points.

What's next: The N.C. State women's team plays a top-ranked South Carolina on Friday night.

  • The men's side faces Purdue and its star big man Zach Edey on Saturday night.
  • N.C. State are 9.5-point underdogs, according to FanDuel. But everything about this run so far has defied expectations.
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