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Mar 31, 2024 8:04 pm

DJ Burns Jr. lifts NC State over Duke, into Final Four

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DJ Burns Jr. scored 29 points on 13-of-19 shooting and streaking North Carolina State secured an unlikely Final Four berth with a 76-64 victory over Duke on Sunday at Dallas.

DJ Horne added 20 points for the 11th-seeded Wolfpack (26-14), who won their ninth consecutive game by dominating the second half of the South Region final. North Carolina State shot 73.1 percent (19 of 26) from the field over the final 20 minutes of action to reach the Final Four for the first time since winning the national title in 1983.

Burns was named Most Outstanding Player of the South Region.

North Carolina State will face No. 1 seed Purdue in the national semifinals on Saturday in Phoenix.

Jared McCain scored 32 points for No. 4 seed Duke (27-9), which shot just 32.2 percent from the field, including 5 of 20 from 3-point range.

Jeremy Roach added 13 points and Kyle Filipowski had 11 points and nine rebounds before fouling out for the Blue Devils.

Overall, North Carolina State made 46.7 percent of its shots, including 3 of 13 from behind the arc. Michael O’Connell contributed 11 rebounds and six assists.

This was the third meeting this month between the two Atlantic Coast Conference opponents. North Carolina State won two of them.

The Wolfpack trailed by six at halftime before outscoring Duke 37-17 over the first 15:40 of the second half.

North Carolina State moved ahead at 36-35 on Horne’s two free throws with 12:59 left in the game.

Filipowski converted a three-point play to push Duke back into the lead before the Wolfpack scored eight straight points and 12 of the next 14.

Burns had two baskets during the 8-0 run, and the Wolfpack held a 44-38 advantage with 9:49 remaining. After Roach drove for a layup, Burns and Horne hit jumpers to boost the North Carolina State lead to 48-40 with 8:27 to play.

McCain hit two free throws for Duke with 8:03 left. O’Connell drained a 3-pointer and Burns scored inside to give the Wolfpack a 53-42 lead with 6:55 remaining.

Filipowski fouled out with 4:52 remaining, and Burns added a short jumper 32 seconds later to give the Wolfpack a 58-44 lead.

Duke was unable to make a late charge as the stunning North Carolina State run continued.

The defenses were in control in a first half in which Duke ended with a 27-21 edge.

The Blue Devils shot 30.8 percent from the field and McCain scored 13 points despite being 2-for-8 shooting. Burns had eight points for North Carolina State, which made just 26.5 percent of its shots.

–Field Level Media

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