“Why Not Us?”

NC State’s men’s basketball team was left for dead a mere week ago after they stumbled to yet another regular season loss in yet another disappointing year led by, according to many, yet another poor coaching hire by a school with a nearly two-decade history of hiring coaches not capable of leading the Wolfpack into the upper echelons of the ACC.

No one would have taken a Wolfpack fan seriously if they told you last Saturday night that NC State would win its eleventh ACC championship over the next few days. They might have believed you more if you told them that lions would lay down with sheep, or that the sun would rise in the west the next morning. That’s how outlandish an NC State ACC Tournament win in 2024 seemed after losing badly to Pitt.

Fortunately, the players believed that they had a good shot in their Last Chance Saloon. And look at what they did: they won five games in a row, one at a time and never rested on their laurels until they were covered in red and white confetti late Saturday evening. It took an incredible last-second shot, some good luck, and some great bounces, but most of all, it took an unwavering belief and a determination to never, ever give up, and to never stop working hard and doing what it took to win.

Five wins in a row had never been done in an ACC Tournament and had only been done once ever by UConn in the Big East. “Historic” is one of the most overused words in sports today, but State’s feat was indeed historic. It’s the sort of thing fans of schools with poor conference records have in fever dreams, but once in a while, even a fever dream comes true.

Many of NC State’s alumni and fans weren’t alive when State last won a conference title. That was in 1987, when State was in a similar position — they were a sixth seed in an eight-team league, and if they didn’t win that tournament, there would be no NCAA bid waiting for them. Under head coach Jim Valvano, the Wolfpack had to beat #14 Duke, win an overtime thriller against Wake Forest and then somehow get past #2 UNC to earn the right to cut down the nets. Fans, of course, were thrilled. Many of those fans are grandparents now.

Just like every State fan was thrilled last night. The Wolfpack and UNC played a hard-fought championship game that went back and forth several times before State began to pull away and State fans started believing that they might pull off this title after all. UNC didn’t go away, and it wasn’t until the last minute that it was all but a certainty that State would finally put two generations of frustration to rest. That was a nervous minute; nonetheless, UNC has its own history of miracles, many of them at the expense of its self-proclaimed “not a rival,” NC State.

Five wins in five days: Louisville and Syracuse were appetizers before State would play #11 Duke and take the win. Then an overtime thriller against Virginia and that game took a near miracle literal last-second shot to get to the extra five minutes that the Wolfpack would eventually dominate.

Finally, arch-rival and Wolfpack Enemy #1, the #4 Tar Heels. State players didn’t blink. And it was them cutting down the nets at the end making travel plans for the NCAA tournament.

“Why not us?” indeed. Enjoy it, players for the 2024 ACC Champions, the NC State Wolfpack. Now, on to the Big Dance and the chance to make a further mark on the record books.

Just like 1987.

Just like 1983.


Home Forums “Why Not Us?”

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #135932
    Alpha Wolf

    NC State’s men’s basketball team was left for dead a mere week ago after they stumbled to yet another regular season loss in yet another disappointing
    [See the full post at: “Why Not Us?”]


    GO PACK!!!
    Brings back fading memories of 74, but especially ‘83. I was at State from ‘76 through ‘82. But I made it back to Raleigh for the game against Houston.
    Just WOW…


    And, thank you for posting Alpha. I wish this site would rise from the ashes.


    Final 4. To be continued….


    Thanks for the write up. The Pack had a special season for sure. Maybe it’s what we needed to turn the corner in basketball. There is also hope for football after the finish last season. I wish this site was active again too! Hopefully there will be new stuff published regularly….


    Can anyone write articles and post threads about Pack athletics on this forum? If so, how do you do it? Thanks

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.