NC State Basketball Made March Madness One to Remember

Duel Pack Final Four showings usher in a peak athletic moment—and an economic boon for NC.

Wolfpack Nation made this March Madness one for the books while proving hoop dreams can come true (hey, “new epicenter of college bball”!) via our men’s and women’s basketball teams dancing down the road to the Final Four. 

And Raleigh went wild—NTM ACC nation and, well, the whole nation. Fandom was at a fever pitch and all eyes were on our fair city as our Pack men played through a wildly unprecedented nine-game win streak at the mercy of a game buzzer beater against UVA that sent State to the ACC Championship—and, ultimately, its first Final Four appearance since 1983. Exemplifying the “survive and advance” motif at its finest, the miracle ~march~ defied the odds—given a pre-tourney 0.9% chance of making the Final Four and a 0.1% chance of securing the championship.

And, then, well—“Why not both?” Legends in their own right, the Wolfpack women drew millions of viewers and fanfare as they alley-ooped their first Final Four appearance since 1998—the ultimate assist in giving female sports the moment it’s always deserved (see Jason Sudeikis sporting a “Everyone Watches Women’s Sports” shirt at the women’s championship). 

While our duo of ballin’ teams took the L after their faceoffs against Purdue and South Carolina, respectively, we’d be remiss not to consider the wild ride a win in itself. Beyond all the sports-related hype (DJ as America’s Sweetheart?!), NC State wasn’t just part of the conversation—it was the conversation. And, naturally, our region’s local economy took a dub, with fans flocking to rep and revel at a lineup of watchworthy hot spots (s/o to the Hillsborough Street block party feat. a big screen and packed street), the red Belltower, the Free Expression Tunnel mural—and funneling funds to local retailers touting celebratory merch.

Clearly, everybody loves to root for an underdog (see: less than 2% of brackets predicting NC State would make the Final Four)—resulting in an overload of Pack Nation pride locally and  nationwide. Why not… keep our hopes high for next season?! #CardiacPack @packmensbball; @packwomensbball 

Hey, Mr. DJ

Get to know the man, the myth, the NC State basketball legend. We got exclusive intel from DJ Burns himself after his magical March Madness run. Introducing our legen-dairy cover star (s/o to his cow friend). Here, the moo-ving content…

Go-to Howling Cow order?
Strawberry or Wolf Tracks

Fave spot on campus? 
The Free Expression Tunnel or Dail Basketball Center

Hot take on the Final Four hype?
It’s been an absolute blessing—and it’s cool to be recognized for all our hard work.

Fave part of March Madness?
Mike’s game winner against Virginia by far! 

Basketball star inspo? 
LeBron James—he’s my favorite basketball player of all time!

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About the Author

Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.