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Defeating Duke, NC State Advances To The Men’s Final Four

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Defeating Duke, NC State Advances To The Men's Final Four

(CTN News) – The 11th-seeded Wolfpack beat Atlantic Coast Conference rival Duke 76-64 on Sunday, with bruising big man DJ Burns Jr scoring 29 points and DJ Horne scoring 20.

First time NC State (26-14) has reached the national semifinals since Jim Valvano sprints around the court after winning the national championship with an upset over Houston in 1983.

Next weekend, these Wolfpack players will head to Glendale, Arizona, with a nine-game winning streak under their belts. To qualify for the NCAA Tournament, the team had to win five games in five days, including a quarterfinal win over Duke. This was after losing their last four regular season games.

Their first matchup will be against Zach Edey and Purdue, followed by the defending national champions, UConn, taking on Alabama.

As a result, fourth-seeded Duke (27-9), who had defeated top seed Houston in the Sweet 16 two nights earlier, failed to reach their second Final Four in three seasons.

With eight minutes left in the game, Kevin Keatts was whistled for a technical foul. With a double-digit lead, his team had a good chance of becoming the seventh double-digit seed to reach the Final Four since 1985.

For the technical Keatts received after officials ruled that Duke’s Kyle Filipowski missed a shot that went over the backboard and off the shot clock, Jared McCain made both free throws.

The replays showed that while Burns probably should have been called for a foul for making contact with Filipowski’s arm, the hand of Wolfpack forward 6’9″ and 275 pounds wasn’t close to the ball.

Michael O’Connell scored a three-pointer on a fast-break following a steal by Ben Middlebrooks. Burns made another nifty basket for a 53-42 advantage after a foul was called while the ball was in the air.

It was O’Connell who scored six points, but who ended up with 11 rebounds and six assists as well.

With 4:52 remaining, the Duke Blue Devils were already eight points behind when McCain fouled out, making all 11 of his free throws as a freshman. Jeremy Roach had 13 points and 7ft center Filipowski had 11 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with four minutes left in the game.


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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