MARCH MADNESS FINAL ELITE 8 REPORT: North Carolina State Will Make Its 4th Final Four Trip

  • 2 months ago
North Carolina State will make its 4th Final Four trip From Durham, to Dallas, and now back to North Carolina for Duke after losing to in-state rival NC State 76-64 in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament’s Regional Final.

It was the fourth time Duke advanced to the Elite 8 in the past five years, but it also had many firsts for the longtime rivalry, playing against one another in the Tournament for the first time, also marking the Tournament’s first matchup between a No. 4-seed and No. 11-seed.

The Blue Devils held the Wolfpack to just 21 points in the first half, their second-lowest first-half output of the season. But NC State went on a 21-2 run over the course of a four minute span midway through the second half, with Duke trailing by as many as 14 points with less than five minutes to go and never coming back within single-digits.

NC State is the only team Duke could not hold to 60 points or less over the course of the Tournament, the Wolfpack now riding a nine-game winning streak.

“We never had a rhythm on offense,” Duke Head Coach Jon Scheyer said.

“We’re just 20 minutes away from going to a Final Four,” he said.

Duke freshman guard Jared McCain played all 40 minutes and led all scorers with 32 points. Senior guard Jeremy Roach was the next highest scorer for the Blue Devils with 13 points, and sophomore center Kyle Filipowski, who ultimately fouled out, was the only other Duke player to score in the double-digits with 11.

The two schools are less than 25 miles from one another, back home down Tobacco Road, but it’s NC State whose road eventually led to the Final Four.

While the Blue Devils head home, finishing the season with a 27-9 overall record, the Wolfpack will play another, this time against the Purdue Boilermakers for a shot at a National Championship.