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NC State’s Burns Shines Bright in NCAA Tournament Thriller

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Nc State's Burns Shines Bright In Ncaa Tournament Thriller

In a thrilling NCAA tournament showdown, NC State‘s standout forward dominated the court, shining as a beacon of resilience and skill against Oakland. Sporting a symbolic yellow sunshine pendant around his neck, Burns delivered a commanding performance with 24 points and 11 rebounds, propelling the Wolfpack to their first Sweet 16 appearance in six years.

Coach Kevin Keatts likened the intense game to a boxing match as Burns battled fiercely against Oakland’s formidable players. The Horizon League Player of the Year, Tyler Conway, and the Golden Grizzlies struggled to contain the massive presence of the 6-foot-9, 275-pound forward.

Despite facing relentless double and triple teams, Burns powered through the paint, aiding NC State’s dominant performance with a 36-24 edge on interior points. His tenacity and passing skills also enabled the Wolfpack to outshine their opponents and secure a historic victory.

Setting a milestone for NC State’s NCAA tournament history, Burns became the first player since legends like Tom Burleson to record a 20-point double-double with over 40 minutes of play in a crucial postseason game. His resilience and maturity under constant fouling stood out, reflecting his growth and determination on the court.

As the game reached a pivotal moment tied with the underdog No. 14 seed, Burns seized the opportunity to assert his dominance, converting a tough basket and drawing a foul. This moment encapsulated the Wolfpack’s journey, from their ACC tournament triumph over Louisville to their thrilling NCAA run.

Addressing skeptics and critics after the game, Burns exuded confidence and gratitude, welcoming back those who doubted NC State’s capabilities. The team’s unity and unwavering belief in themselves propelled them to overcome challenges and disbelief, showcasing their resilience and determination to succeed.

Rachel Adams

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