Before the start of the 2023-2024 NCAA men’s college basketball season, no one would have been surprised if you’d told them that there would be a team from North Carolina in the Final Four.

But if you had then told them that that team would be the NC State Wolfpack, they probably would have asked what you’ve been smoking.

Despite the fact that Duke University was the Number 2 pick in the AP Top 25 Preseason Poll this season, and UNC-Chapel Hill was Number 19 – and State was nowhere near even making it into the poll – well, now it’s April of 2024 and NC State is the last ACC team standing.

A few weeks before the 2024 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, it looked impossible for the Pack to even make it into the NCAA Tournament field this year; yet five wins in five straight days during the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament gave them the automatic bid to the tournament, which the team has absolutely made the most of.

Now the 2024 team has everyone talking about the 1983 Wolfpack team that ended up following a similar out-of-nowhere path to the Final Four and then amazed the country by winning it all.

NC State, an 11-seed in a final four that features two number 1 seeds, will have its work cut out for itself if it’s going to repeat the storybook season of the 1983 Cardiac Pack.

Basketball fans around the state of North Carolina – and Wolfpack fans across the country – will tune in for a 6:09 p.m. tipoff on Saturday, April 6, when the Wolfpack takes on the number 1 seeded Purdue Boilermakers in the semifinals.

This is the first year North Carolinians can bet on the Final Four – legally, anyway – and at last check the Boilermakers were a nine-point favorite.

If State wins that game, the Pack will end up taking on the winner of the number 4 seeded Alabama and number 1 seeded UConn Huskies, who, oh by the way, are the defending National Champions and the overall number 1 seed in the tournament this year.

So, it will be a tough job to win it all.

Of course, in 1983, the Houston Cougars team – that included Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler – was the overall number 1 seed when Coach Jim Valvano’s Wolfpack took that team down.