8-for-8: NC State advances to first Elite Eight since 1986 with 8th straight win :: WRALSportsFan.com

8-for-8: NC State advances to first Elite Eight since 1986 with 8th straight win :: WRALSportsFan.com

North Carolina State WolfpackNorth Carolina State Wolfpack 67
Marquette Golden Eagles8Marquette Golden Eagles 58

— The Wolfpack’s magical March continues.

With its eighth-straight win, NC State has advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1986 as the Wolfpack defeated No. 2 seed Marquette 67-58 on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament.

State continued its string of poised and confident play in the first half, shooting 54 percent and building a 37-24 halftime lead. Marquette struggled offensively, hitting just 2 of 13 from 3-point range and 2 of 8 free throws in the first half.

In the second half, Marquette got to within 58-52 with 3:39 to play, but a Casey Morsell jumper and a Michael O’Connell 3-pointer helped State pull away.

The Eagles ended up hitting just 4 of 31 shots from 3-point range. It was only the fourth time all season the Eagles didn’t reach 60 points.

“We thought that if we could defend the 3-point line, obviously that would give us our best opportunity to win,” NC State coach Kevin Keatts said.

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The victory gave State 25 wins, the most for the program in a season since the 1982-1983 team won the national championship.

DJ Horne led State in scoring with 19 points, going 4 of 7 from 3-point range. Casey Morsell added 15 points and Mohamed Diarra had 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Wolfpack.

On Sunday, State will face No. 4 seed Duke in the South region final.

Another win would put the 11-seed Wolfpack in the Final Four, a place they haven’t been since the ’83 team made history in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

State defeated Duke 74-69 in the ACC Tournament quarterfinal on March 14 as part of an improbable run to win the tournament as a 10-seed and reach the NCAA Tournament.

Hoops Headquarters -- blacc

Source: wralsportsfan.com