Jay Bilas: NC State’s March Madness run ‘most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in basketball’

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It’s a cross-state rivalry that dates back 70 years and is separated by a mere 25-minute car ride in the state of North Carolina.

So, naturally, it must take something significant for someone on the other side of college basketball’s Tobacco Road rivalry to give props to their opponents — regardless of when they played in it themselves.

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NC State basketball advancing to the program’s first Final Four since 1983 — the Wolfpack’s ninth straight victory in the last 19 days since the start of the ACC Tournament — seems to check that box off for ESPN broadcaster Jay Bilas. The former Blue Devil called what Kevin Keatts, DJ Burns & Co. have done in the NCAA Tournament the best thing he has ever seen in basketball following Sunday’s 76-64 win over Duke in the Elite Eight.

“NC State going to the Final Four this year is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in basketball,” Bilas said. “I was a freshman (at Duke) in 1983 when NC State won the national championship, but that wasn’t as amazing as this is.”

So why is that? After all, winning a national championship is not an easy thing to do.

Is it because the Wolfpack lost their last four regular season games to be the 10 seed in the ACC Tournament? Is it because the Wolfpack have been underdogs in each of their last eight games? Is it because Virginia missed a free throw at the end the end of the ACC Tournament semifinals that allowed Michael O’Connell to hit that game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime?

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All are viable answers, according to Bilas.

“NC State this year was 17-14 heading into the ACC Tournament and they were playing on Tuesday and they had to win five games. It wasn’t even a thought of any rational basketball person that the Wolfpack would win the ACC Tournament and they did it,” Bilas said….

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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/jay-bilas-nc-states-march-031345430.html

Author : The Fayetteville Observer

Publish date : 2024-04-01 03:13:45

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