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NC State's Keatts wears tributes to ACC title, Final Four runs with custom add-ons to his shoes

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — North Carolina State coach Kevin Keatts' shoes say everything about the Wolfpack's improbable Final Four run — literally.

Keatts was walking around State Farm Stadium ahead of the team's practice Friday sporting custom illustration work on his Adidas shoes, which pay tribute to the Wolfpack's first Final Four appearance since the “Cardiac Pack” title run under the late Jim Valvano in 1983.

The additions include the official Final Four logo near the heel on the right shoe, as well as the team's recent mantra: “Why not us?” closer to the top. The most notable is the illustrations of nine ice cream cones on the other side of that right shoe's heel. It's a nod to the team's tradition of getting ice cream after road wins — or, in this case, becoming the first team to go 5-for-5 and win the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament before winning four more games in the NCAAs to reach the sport's biggest stage.

“We added the scoops,” Keatts told a group of reporters outside the locker room while proudly showing off the updates. “Look at that: you've got every color, too. That's what people don't understand, is you've got the color for the nine schools" beaten in the current win streak.

And Keatts immediately shook off any idea that there wasn't enough room to keep adding ice cream cones for wins at the Final Four.

“Hey, I'll guarantee you, if we get two more, we can find somewhere for them to go now,” Keatts said. “Don't ever worry about that, now. That's the easy part.”

N.C. State faces Purdue in Saturday's national semifinals.

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AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness