State Now

NC State looks to end Sweet 16 drought

It has been a while since N.C. State won a Sweet 16 game. Coach Mark Gottfried was a junior at Alabama the last time N.C. State did.

The Wolfpack, which faces Louisville on Friday in the East regional semifinals, hasn't won a Sweet 16 game since 1986. Jim Valvano's team beat Iowa State 75-67 that year in Kansas City, Mo. The year before, Valvano's team beat Alabama, when Gottfried, now 51, was a sophomore for the Crimson Tide, in Denver.

The Wolfpack has lost its last three trips to the Sweet 16, dropping a 60-57 decision to Kansas in Gottfried's first season as coach in 2012.

In 1983, N.C. State was the first team to win six games to win the national title. The bracket didn't expand to 64 teams until 1985 but the concept of a "Sweet 16" or winning two games to get to the regional semifinals is a relatively new one.

There were only 25 teams in the field when N.C. State won the national title in 1974. For N.C. State's third "Final Four" team, in 1950, only eight teams were in the field.

Also, N.C. State's game with Louisville, in its first year in the ACC, is just the fourth between ACC teams in the NCAA tournament. The Wolfpack beat Virginia in Final Eight in 1983, the Wahoos lost to UNC in the 1981 Final Four and Duke beat Maryland (now in the Big Ten) in the 2001 Final Four.

ACC vs. ACC in the NCAA tournament

There have only been three games between ACC teams in the NCAA tournament, the Triangle team has won the first three:

1981: UNC 78, Virginia 65 (Final Four)

1983: N.C. State 63, Virginia 62 (Final Eight)

2001: Duke 95, Maryland 84 (Final Four)

  Comments