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Wolfpack fans welcome NC State men’s team home from epic post-season run and a Final Four appearance

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Fans turned out Sunday to welcome home the N.C. State men’s basketball team after their amazing run in the NCAA Tournament cames to an end.

The team may not have the trophy, but they certainly have the heart of the Wolfpack Faithful after nine wins in a row during the post season, including capturing the ACC Title.

Fans barely seemed disappointed by Saturday’s loss to Purdue. What this team pulled off for the first time in 41 years means more than any one game.

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“I’m going to be cheering so loudly I’m not going to be able to talk tomorrow at school,” fan Hazel Nicely said.

Nicely and her friends are probably not the only fans who might be losing their voice. The Wolfpack faithful all cheered and waved handmade signs as the men’s basketball team stepped off the bus, back from the Final Four in Phoenix.

“Thank you, thank you for a historic, memorable season,” alum Trey Corriher said.

For fans, it did not matter that the team lost Saturday night. This whole season has given them plenty to celebrate after a stunning five wins in five days to win their conference title — and earn their way into the NCAA Tournament.

“I feel like the only way to explain it is just like, unbelievable. And as each game went on, I was just like, ‘wow, we really did that’,” alum Emily Gautier said.

Fellow alum Curtis Gautier said, “They’re a landmark team. I mean, something like this hasn’t happened in our lifetime.”

Curtis said the team has energized the whole city.

“I’ve never seen this much N.C. State love outside of state’s campus ever,” he said.

The players felt the love too. Many stayed with the crowd after getting off the bus — taking pictures with fans and signing autographs.

“It means everything, man, to pull up, you know, after a loss and still see all the love and support that we’re getting from, you know, our campus and everything and all the fans. It means a lot,” DJ Horne said.

Horne, a graduate of Cary High School, said the fans are what brought him back home to Raleigh.

“Just to go out there and make those memories with my brothers and seeing all the fans and everything, that’s something I’ll never forget,” he said.

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Both fans and players said seeing the team come together in the last few weeks has been inspiring.

“Never been closer with a group of guys in this team. And it just shows, you know, when you stay together throughout ups and downs, what you can really do,” Horne said.

This season has just made fans even more excited for the future of Wolfpack basketball.

“Even though they lost, I still believe in them,” fan Jackson Rietvelt said.

Corriher added, “I’m enthusiastic and I’m optimistic for the future, you know, and we owe it to this team, we really do.”

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