One of the heroes of NC State basketball’s magical March run is returning to the Pack

The player who hit one of the biggest shots in N.C. State basketball history is coming back for another season with the Wolfpack.

Michael O’Connell, whose buzzer-beating 3-pointer against Virginia in the ACC Tournament continued what became N.C. State’s historic run to the Final Four, announced Thursday he’ll use his final season of eligibility with the Wolfpack.

“Unfinished business,” O’Connell wrote in a social media post announcing his decision.

The guard transferred from Stanford last season, intended to play point guard after starting three years with the Cardinal. He didn’t start consistently until the latter part of the season, earning a starting spot in 22 games.

He averaged 5.7 points per game, 3.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists for the whole season. His scoring contributions jumped to 9.5 points in the postseason, including six double figure outings. Ninety-five of his 234 points this season came in the ACC and NCAA tournaments.

O’Connell added 36 steals during the 2023-24 campaign.

His desperation 3-pointer at the end of regulation against Virginia in the ACC Tournament semifinals forced overtime in a game the Wolfpack won to continue their run to the league championship.

“I think he’s found his voice,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said ahead of the Final Four. “It takes a little bit of time for transfers to come in and find their voice, even though he is an older guy. And now he’s coaching on the floor. Everything that I envision of him being a point guard is what’s happening.”

O’Connell added All-ACC Academic Team honors and the ACC All-Tournament First Team.