NC State forces OT with a buzzer-beater against Virginia

NC State picked up its fourth win in four nights in what could have been an even worse win.

The 10th-seeded Wolfpack defeated No. 3 seed Virginia 73-65 on a day that stunned No. 2 seed Duke in the quarterfinals of the ACC men's basketball tournament. NC State will face top-ranked UNC in the finals, beating Pitt.

In the final minute of the game, especially when they took a 58-52 lead with 51 seconds left, Virginia appeared on track to end the dream run. However, a foul on Ryan Dunn's 3-point attempt on the next possession allowed NC State to cut the lead to 58-55 with 43 seconds left.

Virginia came up empty on its next two possessions, the final one being a one-and-one free throw by Isaac McNeely with five seconds left. You can guess where this is going.

NC State has no deadlines. Virginia had a fault to give. Wolfpack guard Michael O'Connell drove into Virginia territory and had about four seconds to make a 3-pointer. It took a wild bank and a favorable spin to tie the game and he somehow did:

NC State outscored Virginia 73-65 and 15-7 in overtime.

It's hard to overstate how out of nowhere this run from NC State was. The Wolfpack finished the regular season 4-10 with losses in their final four games. They defeated conference doormat Louisville by nine points, then dominated Syracuse and convinced Duke to stay alive in Washington.

NC State is now one win away from becoming the outright bid stealer in March Madness and completing the five-win streak that Kemba Walker helped make UConn immortal. A UNC team ahead of them could clinch the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with a win.

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UNC defeated NC State in both of their regular season games, a 67-54 win in Raleigh and a 79-70 win in Chapel Hill. The Wolfpack certainly weren't the opponent the Tar Heels expected in the finals, but that didn't mean they couldn't take them lightly.

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