March 18, 2014
NCAA Tournament Central
Tuesday Postgame Press Conference
The First Four - The Top 4 Storylines For This Game
1. WOLFPACK IN THE DANCE...AGAIN
In his third season at NC State, Mark Gottfried has coached the Wolfpack into the Big Dance for the third time. NC State, a bubble team in 2012, advanced to the Sweet 16 that year with wins over San Diego State and Georgetown. Last year's NC State team made the tournament as a No. 8 seed and lost in the second round. This is NC State's 25th NCAA Tournament appearance all-time and the first time its been a No. 12 seed. NC State is 33-23 all-time in what Mark Gottfried calls "the greatest show on Earth."
2. DAYTON CONNECTIONS
NC State played in the NCAA Tournament at UD Arena last year, but just two players on this year's roster (Warren and Lewis) appeared in that game. The first round of the 68-team event has been played at Dayton since the tourney expanded to 68 teams in 2011. The host Dayton Flyers team is coached by former Wolfpack player Archie Miller, who played at NC State from 1998-02 and was the team's director of operations in 2004.
3. PLAYER OF THE YEAR
T.J. Warren, the ACC's leading scorer with 24.8 points per game, was voted the league's player of the year by the ACC's head coaches and the media. The 6-8 sophomore is the top scorer among all players in the Power 5 conferences. By scoring 21 points vs. Duke, he set a school record with 29 games with 20+ points in a season. After pouring in a career-high 41 points on 16-for-22 shooting in NC State's win at Pittsburgh on March 3, he topped that with 42 points in a win over Boston College on March 9. Warren, who has reached double figures in 35 of his last 37 games, is also first in the ACC with a .525 field goal percentage (minimum 5 FG made per game). He is on pace to become just the third player in ACC history to lead the conference in both scoring and field goal percentage (Horace Grant, Tim Duncan). Warren is also among the ACC's leaders in rebounds (7th), offensive rebounds (2nd), minutes played (8th) and steals (4th).
4. WHEN THE WOLFPACK DANCED THE HARDEST
It's fitting NC State earns a tourney bid 40 years after capturing its first national title, a 1974 crown behind legendary players David Thompson and Tommy Burleson. NC State, ranked No. 1, knocked off No. 4 Maryland to earn the ACC's only bid to the tournament. NC State roared into the Final Four, taking down Bill Walton and UCLA in the semifinal before defeating Marquette in the championship game. Jim Valvano's 1983 "Cardiac Pack" went on one of college basketball's all-time great tourney runs, defeating Houston's Phi Slamma Jamma with a buzzer-beating dunk by Lorenzo Charles.