ACC In NCAA Tournament (Final Four)

NC State, UConn Men AND Women
Seeking Extremely Rare “Twin Titles”

By David Glenn
North Carolina Sports Network

Former North Carolina State athletic director Debbie Yow likes to tell a story about one of the most important pieces of advice she received as a young person who played college basketball, coached college basketball and ultimately hired college basketball coaches.

“A people hire A people,” Yow said. “B people hire C people.”

The Wolfpack’s athletic director from 2010-19, Yow explained that some in hiring positions hesitate to truly seek the very best candidates, often out of fear that the new hire might ultimately overshadow the boss or make him or her less influential or less relevant over time.

Anyone who knows Yow well would tell you that she’s not wired that way. Whenever the Wolfpack had a coaching vacancy during her tenure, she aimed very high (e.g., Rick Barnes, Sean Miller, Shaka Smart in 2011).

Although Boo Corrigan has been the NC State AD since Yow’s 2019 retirement, Yow was in charge during the Wolfpack basketball coaching searches that led to the hirings of Wes Moore in 2013 and Kevin Keatts in 2017.

Now both Keatts and Moore have led the Wolfpack to the men’s and women’s 2024 Final Fours, respectively, adding NC State’s name to a relatively short (but very impressive) list of schools that have had both of their hoops programs — at the same time — within two victories (each) of winning the national championship.

NC State is now one of only 11 schools that has sent its men’s and women’s teams to their respective Final Fours in the same year, joining Connecticut (which has accomplished the same feat this season and five times overall), Duke, Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Michigan State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Syracuse and Texas.

NCAA Tournament “Double Final Fours”
(Men’s and Women’s Teams/Same Season)

1983 — Georgia
1999 — Duke
2002 — Oklahoma
2003 — Texas
2004 — UConn
2005 — Michigan State
2006 — LSU
2009 — UConn
2011 — UConn
2013 — Louisville
2014 — UConn
2016 — Syracuse
2017 — South Carolina
2024 — NC State, UConn

This is the first time in history that two schools have advanced their men’s and women’s teams to the Final Four in the same season.

The NC State women, a #3 seed, will face South Carolina, the #1 overall seed, in the Final Four on Friday (7 pm, ESPN). The NC State men, a #11 seed, will take on Purdue, a #1 seed, in the Final Four on Saturday (6:09, TBS).

The UConn women, a #3 seed, will face Iowa, a #1 seed, in the Final Four on Friday (9 pm, ESPN). The UConn men, the #1 overall seed, will take on Alabama, a #4 seed, in the Final Four on Saturday (8:49, TBS).

Whereas the Wolfpack men are seeking the program’s first national championship in 41 years and their third overall (1974, 1983), and the Pack women are trying to win their first NCAA title, UConn’s teams are trying to continue their truly amazing track records of both recent and long-term success on the hardcourt.

The UConn women’s 11 NCAA titles lead the nation. (Only Tennessee, with eight, is even close.) The UConn men are tied for fourth nationally with five NCAA championships, behind only UCLA (11), Kentucky (eight) and North Carolina (six). All 16 of the Huskies’ (combined) titles have come since 1995.

Here’s one final point, especially for followers of numerology: Only twice in history has the same school won the men’s and women’s NCAA titles in the same season.

UConn turned the trick in April 2004.

UConn did it again in April 2014.

Now UConn has a chance to do it once more here in April 2024.