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Why Not Us? How I Witnessed NC State History

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NCSU chapter.

Why Not Us?

This spring break, I jetted off to Washington D.C. for an unforgettable adventure. From strolling through the Georgetown shops to hiking the Great Falls National Park, my trip was filled with excitement and exploration. When my uncle mentioned that the ACC tournament was taking place in D.C. instead of Greensboro, I couldn’t help but joke at the idea of attending. But little did I know, I was about to witness history unfold right before my eyes.

As a fan of NC State men’s basketball, I’ve experienced the highs and lows of our team’s journey. With our last ACC Championship victory dating back to 1987, the odds seemed stacked against us, especially after ending the regular season with four consecutive losses. To win five games in five days to get an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament seemed downright impossible. 

As I watched NC State take down Lousiville, Syracuse, and Duke, upset after upset, I was ready to buy tickets if we were to beat Virginia the next day in the semi-finals. Anyone who watched that game understands why we are called the Cardiac Pack. In that intense match against Virginia, with just a minute left on the clock and the game slipping away, I couldn’t bear to watch any longer. I regretfully turned off the TV, oblivious to the dramatic turn of events that followed. If only I hadn’t turned away—I would have witnessed Virginia missing a crucial free throw and Michael O’Connell’s heroic three-pointer at the buzzer, propelling us into overtime and keeping our championship dreams alive. In OT, NC State dominated with their second chance, winning 73-65, giving us a spot in the championships against our in-state rivals down the road, #1 seed UNC. Despite the challenges we faced, having lost to UNC twice during the regular season, I remained undeterred. Simply reaching the championship was a historic achievement in itself, having won four games in four days. Without hesitation, I secured my tickets, eagerly anticipating what awaited us next.

The excitement kicked off promptly at 8:30 pm, and naturally, the one trip I forgot my college gear happened to be the one where it was absolutely essential. Opting for a combo of a red shirt, a white jacket, and some black pants, I managed to pull off a decent outfit. But, the real highlight? Nearly bumping into none other than President Joe Biden himself as he enjoyed dinner right by the stadium before the game! As I found my seat, I couldn’t help but notice that a whopping ¾ of the crowd was wearing blue, which definitely made me stand out. Surrounded by a sea of blue in my section, I ignored it because, let’s be real, I was there to cheer on my team no matter what.

The atmosphere was electric as the game unfolded, with NC State inching ahead. But then came the dramatic twist: UNC’s Cormac Ryan swooped in with a three-pointer, stealing the lead just before halftime. You could feel the tension, UNC had snatched the lead, but the closeness of the score took everyone by surprise. NC State was hungry for victory, needing this championship more than ever, while UNC seemed assured of their spot in the NCAA tournament.

The second half came easier and no one could believe it. A team that ended it’s regular season 17-14, about to win five games in five days, which has never been done before in ACC history. And they were going to win again a #1 seed as a #10. As the clock was ticking down, UNC fans began to leave, accepting their fate. I pulled out my phone to video this moment as I was witnessing history, NC State was about to get its first ACC Championship since 1987. As the buzzer sounded, the stadium erupted into deafening cheers, and confetti rained down from above. Wolfpack fans were in disbelief, their joy overflowing as they celebrated this historic win. With jaws dropped in astonishment, we made our way to the court to witness the post-game award ceremony and join the players in their celebration.

This was truly a historic moment that I am so thankful to have witnessed. As the NC Wolfpack keeps dancing in the NCAA, currently in the Final Four, I will never forget what we had to do to get here! 

So Why Not Us?

Mahi Patel is a writer at Her Campus NC State University. She is responsible for writing and publishing articles, participating in all meetings, attending events, and participating in events. This is her first year on Her Campus. Before Her Campus, Mahi started a chapter of Junior State of America in high school. During her summers, she would intern at pharmacies and blood banks to figure out what she wanted to continue her higher education in. She is currently a freshman at NC State University and is undecided. She plans on majoring in Statistics. After graduation, she plans to work for one of her favorite brands as a corporate actuary and hopes to pursue her passions of modeling and acting. Mahi was born and raised in Apex, NC, with her younger brother and her parents. During her free time, she loves to hangout with her friends, try different restaurants, listen to music, cook, travel around the world, and watch movies! She is a huge fan of American rapper Post Malone but has yet to go to his concert. Some of her favorite shows and movies that she keeps near and dear to her heart are The Maze Runner movies , The 100, and Hawaii 5-0.