Posted on 19 March 2012.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – It’s been a lengthy time given that North Carolina State was mentioned in the identical breath with the elite applications in the nation- let alone its own state.
Now, a new coach and a new attitude have the Wolfpack faithful harkening back to the glory days of David Thompson and Jim Valvano.
Lorenzo Brown hit 3 free of charge throws in the final 10.6 seconds and North Carolina State returned to the round of 16 with a 66-63 upset of third-seeded Georgetown in the NCAA tournament on Sunday.
“When I went to Alabama as the head coach at the age of 33, John Wooden told me 1 time, he stated, `Coach, don’t give them also much as well quickly. They may possibly commence expecting that every year,”‘ 1st-year Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried said with a grin.
Then, with impeccable timing, he added: “Well, we failed in that category already.”
The Wolfpack (24-12) will play Purdue or Kansas on Friday in St. Louis.
A lowly 11th seed coming in, they had to survive a furious comeback by the Hoyas (24-9) that ended when Jason Clark’s hurried three-point try from the appropriate wing was off the mark at the buzzer.
“We pushed the ball up the court, attempted to get a last shot,” Clark mentioned, his eyes brimming with tears. “I felt like it had a chance, but it didn’t.”
It’s a return to the large stage for a system that has been lost in the rather big shadows cast by neighboring powers Duke and North Carolina. The Wolfpack won national titles in 1974 with Thompson and in 1983 on Lorenzo Charles’ dramatic final-second putback of Dereck Whittenburg’s wild shot, major to coach Valvano’s memorable celebration.
But maybe the new Wolfpack have turned a corner.
“We usually speak about how we have such a fantastic history at NC State,” Gottfried mentioned. “But it’s also time to build some new history.”
C.J. Williams, Scott Wood and C.J. Leslie every had 14 points, and Brown added 12 for the Wolfpack, who earned their initial trip to the round of 16 given that 2005.
The Wolfpack’s defense spurred a 12- first-half run that included seven points by Williams and helped turn an eight-point deficit into a three-point halftime lead.
They pushed the benefit to 11 in the second half just before Georgetown (24-9), in spite of deep foul difficulty for center and top rated assist man Henry Sims, came clawing back.
The Hoyas, riding the shooting of Hollis Thompson, who had 23 points, drew to 63-61 just before freshman Otto Porter missed a 15-foot jumper beneath pressure with 14 seconds left.
Brown, a 74-percent shooter at the line, made two foul shots with ten.6 seconds left for a 65-61 lead. Clark, who finished with 10 points, then went the length of the court for a layup just before Brown was fouled once again with four.6 seconds left. He hit the very first but missed the second, and the Hoyas raced down court for a prospective tying 3.
They got a excellent look, with Clark, defended by Williams, stopping and acquiring off a rushed shot that was wide of the mark.
“I was just praying it wasn’t going in,” Williams mentioned. And it didn’t.
It set off a wild celebration among the Wolfpack players. 3 teammates hefted Brown to their shoulders and carried him across the floor, whilst guard Alex Johnson popped his jersey and yelled to the roaring North Carolina State faithful, “We back child! We’re going to the Sweet 16!”
It was an additional bitter disappointment for Georgetown, also a legendary system attempting to reclaim a glowing legacy. The Hoyas were knocked out in their initial game in every single of the earlier two NCAA tournaments, and the players mentioned they had lastly shed the stigma of those defeats with a 74-59 victory more than Belmont on Friday.
They also had put aside a strange year that began with the team attacked by the crowd and opposing players in an exhibition game in China.
“This team, in spite of whatever downs we’ve had and losses like nowadays, has been a genuinely particular group,” coach John Thompson III stated.
This continues to be a unique year for the Wolfpack, a team that no one believed would be dancing this late in the year.
Properly, practically no one.
“One of the very first things I said to coach Gottfried when I met him, I mentioned, `I don’t want this to be a rebuilding year. I don’t want to just play to get much better. I believe we’ve got the talent and the pieces that we could be a dominant team,”‘ Wood mentioned.
Brown couldn’t wipe the smile off his face immediately after the game.
“You never know what to expect in this tournament,” he mentioned, sounding far more sage than a sophomore really should. “A lot of excellent teams went down a couple of days ago. And we’re just out right here playing our best. And Coach is a believer in us and we believe in ourselves.”
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The NCAA Sports News Digest distributes and publishes live, on demand NCAA sports news, articles, аnd information. This write-up was distributed by Syndicated Sports news wire and aggregation service, For a lot more NCAA basketball news see: Wolfpack erase early deficit, hang on to best Hoyas (Yahoo! Sports).