NC State 67-58 Marquette (March 29, 2024) Game Summary

DALLAS – – DJ Horn scored 19 points and North Carolina State kept its magic going NCAA tournament They ran well, beating Marquette 67-58 on Friday night to reach the Elite Eight for the first time since 1986.

Casey Morsell added 15 points and Mohamed Diarra 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Wolfpack, who have reeled off eight straight wins since the start of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, which they had to win to even be a part of March Madness.

On the 50th anniversary of NC State's first national championship in 1974 — when the Wolfpack beat the Golden Eagles for the title — it's starting to look a lot like their second championship in 1983.

“It's magical, but I will say we knew that from day one,” said Horn, whose team lost seven of nine games to end the regular season. “We knew we were a good team. It was all just about maintaining our roles and understanding them, and there's no better time to do that than now.”

NC State (25-14), the 11th seed in the South Region, will face top-seeded Houston or No. 4 seed Duke on Sunday for a spot in the Final Four.

The last time the Wolfpack went this far 41 years ago, they had to win the ACC Championship before the late Jim Valvano had to run around the field trying to find someone to hug after a still-talked-about upset of high-flying Houston to clinch the title. .

Taking charge of the newest unlikely crew is underclassman Kevin Kitts, who has a big personality between the lines, as 6-foot-9, 275-pound DJ Burns Jr. Spinning ball throw And five assists helped the Wolfpack build a 13-point lead at halftime.

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The No. 2-seeded Golden Eagles (27-10) couldn't overcome an ugly shooting performance in their first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2013. They made 4 of 31 (12.9%) from 3-point range and shot 33.3% overall.

“We talked about being very stingy on defense,” Kitts said. “Marquette is a really good basketball team. They do a great job. I thought we were better defensively.”

Cam Jones scored 20 points, and Tyler Kulek added 17 points and 10 rebounds, as the Big East team lost for the first time in eight games in this tournament.

Third-year coach Shaka Smart is 0-2 in the NCAA Tournament at Texas with Marquette — including a first-round blowout of North Carolina two years ago — after failing to win a tournament game in six seasons leading the Longhorns.

“The worst thing about losing today is that we don't practice tomorrow,” Smart said. “We don't have another game to prepare for.”

NC State has found the same balance that has led to five players leading the team in scoring during the current winning streak. Horn did it for the third time.

Horn answered two short Marquette drives with 3-pointers, blew a kiss to Golden Eagles fans behind their team's benches after the first and gestured toward supporters near the N.C. State bench after the second.

Marquette was within eight when Jones missed an open 3-pointer with six minutes left. The Golden Eagles were unable to get closer than six goals after trailing by 16 points at the start of the second half.

The end of the first half said it all as the Golden Eagles finished with a season low in points.

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After Oso Ighodaro missed a dunk, Marquette got the rebound, but David Joplin missed a 3 to fall to 0 of 5 from deep before halftime.

Joplin was fouled on a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds remaining in the first half and missed all three free throws.

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After the 1983 title, the Wolfpack reached the Elite Eight again in 1985 and 1986. They've lost to a No. 1 seed every time. St. John's won 69-60 in 1985, followed by Kansas with a 75-67 win.

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AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket And coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness

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