Busting Brackets

March Madness: Where does NC State rank among Cinderella teams in the past 20 years?

North Carolina State, an 11 seed, just made the Final Four, marking it as the 6th time a 11 seed has reached the Final Four. Where does this North Carolina State team rank among Cinderella teams in the past 20 years?

NC State v Duke
NC State v Duke / Lance King/GettyImages
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4. #11 Seed UCLA (2021)

The year after Covid-19 canceled the tournament, UCLA gave us one of the all-time runs and came one shot away from competing for a National Championship. The Bruins, led by star players Johnny Juzang and Jamie Jaquez, were selected into the tournament as a 11 seed, and had to play in the First Four versus Michigan State. On their way to the Final Four, UCLA defeated #6 BYU, #14 Abilene Christian, #2 Alabama, and #1 Michigan.

The Bruins matched up with undefeated Gonzaga in the Final Four and gave us one of the greatest Tournament games of all time. Johnny Juzang was able to force overtime, but it was Jalen Suggs who hit the iconic buzzer-beater to end the Bruins Cinderella run.

3. #11 seed North Carolina State (2024)

In my opinion, this year's North Carolina State run has been extremely underrated. If Virginia had hit one free throw with 4 seconds left in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament, Michael O'Connell wouldn't have banked in a game-tying three-pointer, and NC State would be sitting at home on their couch. Instead, NC State is one of, if not the hottest team in the country. The #11 seed won 5 games in 5 days at the ACC Tournament taking down Louisville, Syracuse, Duke, Virginia, and North Carolina to make the tournament.

In the NCAA Tournament, they have taken down #6 Texas Tech, #14 Oakland, #2 Marquette, and #4 Duke on their way to making the Final Four. The Wolfpack are not done, and if they take down #1 Purdue and Zach Edey, they could move to the top of the list.