NC State men’s historic rise to the Final Four

This is the NC State men’s basketball’s team first trip to the Final Four since 1983 where the Pack won the NCAA title under legendary coach Jimmy V. Now, the Wolfpack is ready to repeat history.

NC State player DJ Burns Jr. in profile with sweat streaming down his face.

Off the court, DJ Burns Jr. has gone viral as a big man with a stellar personality.

Photo by Mitchell Northam, WUNC

NC State men’s basketball is the Cinderella story of this year’s NCAA Tournament, landing in the Final Four as an 11 seed after a historic conference tournament run and a less-than stellar regular season. Here’s a rundown on the leaders of this powerhouse Pack.

Let’s talk about the big man first. DJ Burns Jr. has been instrumental for the Pack with an average of 18.3 points per NCAA Tournament game. Helping him turn the tables is DJ Horne, shooting 37% from beyond the arc in the tournament.

On the defensive side, Mohamed Diarra has notched an average of 11.8 rebounds per game and set the ACC Tournament record for rebounds with 60 over five games all while fasting in observance of Ramadan.

To get to this point, the Pack won nail-biters against Texas Tech, Oakland, Marquette, and Tobacco Road rival Duke. Now there are just two games standing between the Pack and the championship title, the first against No. 1 Purdue on Saturday, April 6 at 6:09 p.m — and of course, we’re rooting for the underdog Wolfpack.

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