Beating Pittsburgh in a tough road game Wednesday night left N.C. State facing an even harder task -- finding enough ice cream at midnight to feed the team.
While coaching at UNC Wilmington, Kevin Keatts started a tradition of celebrating road wins with ice cream.
But, after the Wolfpack beat Pitt 72-68 at Petersen Events Center in a game that ended around 11 p.m., finding the summertime treat in a snow-covered city proved to be difficult.
“We looked at a McDonald’s with soft serve ice cream and they were closed,” Keatts said Thursday. “We rolled by a Burger King, that was closed, and then we rolled up on the convenience store.”
The team’s bus, en route to the airport, stopped there and Keatts sent his managers into the store with a mission: to buy the entire supply of ice cream treats.
“It was good,” N.C. State sophomore Omer Yurtseven said. “it’s definitely good to reward yourself after a good win.”
This wasn’t the first time the Wolfpack team had gone for postgame ice cream. They got some after beating Arizona in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas on Nov. 22. They also indulged after exhibition wins during a trip to Italy last August.
Wednesday night’s quest for ice cream proved a little more difficult. One N.C State official on the bus suggested bringing some of the school’s own Howling Cow ice cream along next time.
N.C. State senior forward Abdul-Mailk Abu said the players love Keatts’ tradition.
“Big time,” Abu said. “Who doesn’t like ice cream at 2 a.m. in the morning? Road wins, a little incentive, get ice cream, it keeps the moral high and it motivates you for the next one.”
The Wolfpack get another shot at the cold stuff on Saturday when it plays at North Carolina. It’s a big rivalry game, and a win over the Tar Heels means the Wolfpack might want to celebrate even more.
“For sure,” Abu said. “I need cookies and cream, a double scoop in the cone.”
NC State at UNC
When: Noon, Saturday
Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill