Lorenzo Brown hit three free throws in the final 10.6 seconds and N.C. State returned to the round of 16 with a 66-63 upset of third-seeded Georgetown in the NCAA tournament on Sunday. The Wolfpack (24-12) will play Purdue or Kansas on Friday.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — After he made the free throws to clinch N.C. State's spot in the round of 16, sophomore guard Lorenzo Brown clenched both of fists, looked over to the Wolfpack fans behind press row and screamed:
As the seconds melted off the clock, and Jason Clark's last-second shot fell short for Georgetown, 11th-seeded N.C. State had every reason to celebrate Sunday's 66-63 over the third-seeded Hoyas in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
The No. 11-seed N.C. State Wolfpack and No. 3-sed Georgetown Hoyas will go at it on Sunday in Columbus. Mark Gottfried and C.J. Leslie speak for the Wolfpack. John Thompson III talks for the Hoyas to the media.
C.J. Williams, who sprained his left ankle Friday night, walked in with the rest of his teammates Saturday, showing no ill effects and declaring, “It’s fine.”
N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said Williams participated in the Wolfpack’s closed-doors shoot-around Saturday morning.
“He’s a little tender," Gottfried said. "I think he’ll play. And we’ll get him a lot more treatment today, a lot of ice tonight. So I expect him to play. I don’t know if he’ll be 100 percent, but he’ll be OK.”
COLUMBUS, Ohio — John Thompson III doesn't remember the last time N.C. State and Georgetown met in the NCAA tournament, but his dad does.
Georgetown, coached by John Thompson, beat N.C. State, 69-61 in the Round of 16 in the 1989 NCAA tournament. Wolfpack guard Chris Corchiani was called for a travel with 1:47 left in the game, which was the second game the Hoyas won in that tournament which included a controversial finish.
Georgetown, the No. 1 seed in the East, beat 16th-seeded Princeton in the first round in '89 when Alonzo Mourning blocked a shot by Princeton guard Bob Scrabis at the buzzer.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — San Diego State coach Steve Fisher has taken two different programs to the NCAA tournament 12 times, three of his Michigan teams made the Final Four and his Wolverines won it all in 1989.
So Fisher knows what a winner looks like in March and after N.C. State beat his San Diego State team on Friday, 79-65 in the NCAA tournament, he recognized a certain quality in the Wolfpack.
"They're playing with a togetherness you have to have to win," Fisher said.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The last time Bobby Lutz coached in an NCAA tournament game, he was Charlotte's head coach, in 2005. The 49ers' opponent? N.C. State.
The Wolfpack beat Lutz and the Niners 75-63 in a first-round game in Worcester, Mass. in 2005. N.C. State star Julius Hodge helped the Wolfpack erase a 14-point first-half deficit with 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
"We were up big," said Lutz, who was 2-5 in five NCAA tournament appearances with Charlotte. "Then Julius took over the game late."
Hours before N.C. State's charter flight to Columbus was getting ready to leave Raleigh on Wednesday, the Wolfpack was still trying to figure out where it would stay.
The hotel where the Wolfpack was supposed to stay had a contract with the NCAA to block 75 rooms for two teams. Instead, it erroneously blocked 75 rooms for one team.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried has embraced all the extra attention that has come with the Wolfpack's first NCAA tournament appearance in six years.
Well, almost all of it. After President Barack Obama put the Wolfpack in the round of 16 in his bracket picks for ESPN, Gottfried sent a text to his former ESPN colleague, Andy Katz.
"The President's trying to win votes, I'm trying to get wins," Gottfried said he wrote in the text to Katz. "It's a little different."
San Diego State may play its games late at night by East Coast standards, and the Mountain West cable network isn't exactly easy to find, but N.C. State guard C.J. Williams knows what to expect from the Aztecs.
"I've seen them play a couple of times," Williams said Thursday in Columbus, where the Wolfpack prepared to face San Diego State on Friday. "I watched them in their conference tournament. I remember the shot that -- I don't remember which player it was, but he hit the shot at the end to win the game. They were ranked during the season, so you see them on TV, watch the highlights."