Fore for Final Four: 'Cardiac Pack' star praises 2024 team's momentous run from the links ::

Fore for Final Four: ‘Cardiac Pack’ star praises 2024 team’s momentous run from the links ::

— Good fortune continues to pour in for those around NC State basketball this spring.

Sunday, the men’s and women’s basketball teams secured spots in the Final Four, launching a success-starved fanbase into jubilation and rallying campus around the ‘why not us?’ mantra.

On Monday, some of the biggest names in State basketball history enjoyed the golf course on a warm day while raising money for a good cause.

Several members of the 1983 “Cardiac Pack” that won the national championship were at the Dereck Whittenburg Golf Invitational at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, proudly sporting Wolfpack gear after the State men clinched a Final Four berth on Sunday with a 76-64 win against Duke in the South region final of the NCAA Tournament.

Dereck Whittenburg in 2023

The invitational was held for Whittenburg’s foundation, which offers financial help to deserving college students. Whittenburg works in community relations and fundraising for State’s athletic department.

“Everyone says it reminds them a lot of what we did 41 years ago but this is their time,” said Whittenburg, who added he will be in Arizona for the men’s Final Four. “They are making an incredible run.”

Meanwhile, the State women are headed to Cleveland for its program’s first Final Four since 1998 after beating Texas 76-66 on Sunday. It’s the first time since 2017 that a school has sent both women’s and men’s teams to the Final Four.

The men’s team has drawn attention for its out-of-nowhere journey that seemed impossible weeks ago and through a likable character in center DJ Burns. On Saturday, they’ll be on the biggest stage at State Farm Stadium against Purdue in the national semifinal.

“They got a chance,” Whittenburg said. “They are playing great basketball – well connected, you can see the chemistry with players and Keatts. They got just as good a chance as anyone else.”

Dereck Whittenburg at home in Raleigh

While memories of the 1983 miracle win are etched within Whittenburg, he said he’s confident that history could repeat itself for the 11-seed Wolfpack. This year’s team won five straight games in the ACC Tournament to win the conference championship and defeated higher-seeded teams such as Texas Tech, Marquette and Duke in the NCAA Tournament.

“We have a chance like anyone else, why not us?” Whittenburg said.

Nate McMillan, a Raleigh native who played at State from 1984 until 1986, came out to support the effort. Since 2015, Whittenburg’s foundation has given nearly $1 million in scholarship funds to college juniors and seniors going through financial hardships.

“It’s a great time to be a fan, a player, an alumnus,” said McMillan, who spent years as an NBA head coach.

Tubby Smith, who coached Kentucky to a national championship in 1998 and later coached at High Point University, was also on hand.

“What a great day to have it,” Smith said. “Couldn’t have been better with NC State Wolfpack in the Final Four, Dereck is living right.”