Tim Rice (Tag The Shooter)/ALOST

akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

WASHINGTON — Before NC State’s second game of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday, I walked back to the media room inside of Capital One Arena and walked past Bob Valvano, the radio analyst for Wolfpack basketball games on radio and brother of the late Jim Valvano, the coach who led the school to the improbably 1983 national championship. Even after a win in the opening round on Tuesday, the Wolfpack needed a miracle to turn a disappointing season — one that reportedly could have cost current head coach Kevin Keatts his job — into one of salvation, something that Jim Valvano was known to do.

Whether it was the presence of a Valvano on the team or some other supernatural force, NC State and Keatts found the Tobabbo Road magic just in time, and completed, arguably, the most improbably run in the history of the conference tournament to earn a championship.

DJ Horne scored 29 points while big man DJ Burns had 20 points in leading tenth-seeded NC State over No. 1 North Carolina 84-76 in the ACC Tournament championship game on Saturday night. The Wolfpack became just the second team to win any conference tournament as a double-digit seed and the first to win the ACC Tournament with five victories in as many days.

“Winning five games in five nights is a miracle,” an emotional Keatts said. “We’ve got to get some rest because, guess what, we’re going to the NCAA Tournament.”

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Friday’s event, with all photos taken by ALOST staff photographer Timothy Rice. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 25 pictures in total.

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Tags : Atlantic Coast ConferenceCollege BasketballNC State WolfpackNorth Carolina Tar Heels

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