April 19, 2024

NC State Fans Honor Jim Valvano at His Gravesite During March Madness | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

UNITED STATES - MARCH 08:  College Basketball: ACC Tournament, Closeup of North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano victorious, cutting down net after winning finals game vs North Carolina, Landover, MD 3/8/1987  (Photo by Jerry Wachter/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)  (SetNumber: X34487 TK6)

SetNumber: X34487 TK6

The last time the NC State men’s basketball team reached the Final Four, back in the 1982-83 season, the legendary Jim Valvano was the head coach.

Amid the team’s Final Four run this season, a number of Wolfpack fans honored Valvano at his gravesite, according to The Athletic’s Brendan Marks:

Brendan Marks @BrendanRMarks

My dad is buried in the same cemetery as Jim Valvano (and Lorenzo Charles). Every time I come see Dad, I swing by Jimmy V’s headstone for a second. <br><br>I’m not the only one today. <a href=”https://t.co/gz1T6RcvV5″>pic.twitter.com/gz1T6RcvV5</a>

Valvano’s Wolfpack not only reached the Final Four, they also won a national title, upsetting the famed “Phi Slama Jama” Houston Cougars that featured future NBA Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.

The enduring image from that game was Dereck Whittenburg’s desperation heave as time ticked away, a shot that fell short. But Lorenzo Charles caught the ball and dunked it before the buzzer, securing the upset victory. Valvano ran onto the court, furiously searching for someone to hug.

Now, DJ Burns Jr. and the Wolfpack have returned to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed, with No. 1 seed Purdue looming. Beat them, and either defending champions UConn or red-hot Alabama await.

The Wolfpack are the ultimate Cinderella story yet again, and the school is the center of the college basketball world, as the third-seeded women’s team also reached the Final Four and faces a juggernaut in undefeated South Carolina.