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CLEVELAND -- To celebrate NC State making it to the Final Four for the first time since 1998, head coach Wes Moore lit up the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Wednesday with a performance of The Temptations' "My Girl." The entire team joined him on stage, soaking in every second of the experience in Cleveland.

"We are the party crashers, we didn't get an invitation to this thing," Moore said of his team's 2024 NCAA Tournament run. "We kind of snuck in."

The Wolfpack started the 2023-24 season unranked, but they eventually earned a No. 3 seed that allowed them to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in their home arena. That was an accomplishment on its own, but the team made an even louder statement by upsetting Stanford in the Sweet 16 and then Texas in the Elite Eight. 

Now, NC State is the one being overlooked again among a Final Four field that also includes Iowa, UConn and South Carolina. 

"It's exciting to be the team that nobody expected to be here, underdogs," Moore said. "I think our players have really bought into that mentality. We are having fun. I think our biggest thing is we just don't want it to end. We are having so much fun, let's keep it going."

Junior guard Aziaha James had a 27-point performance, including seven 3-pointers, against a tough Texas defense in Portland. While everybody knows her name now, those who are just starting to pay attention to the Wolfpack will soon learn they are a very well-balanced team. 

As a group, NC State averages 73.8 points per contest while all five starters average over 10 points. Freshman Zoe Brooks is not too far behind with 8.9 points per contest. The Wolfpack are also in the top 12 in rebounds per game (42.8) thanks to six players registering over three boards per contest.

"I feel like that's what I like about us a lot. We really are a team," center Lizzy Williamson said. "It can be anyone on any given night who gets it done for us. We get along so well, even off the court, and that chemistry really helps."

NC State has a big challenge ahead as its next opponent is South Carolina, a team aiming to become just the 10th undefeated champion in women's college basketball history.

Junior guard Saniya Rivers was part of the Gamecocks team that won the 2022 national title, and now she is going to try to get back to the championship game with NC State. She will be playing against her former team, but there is no bad blood. Rivers, in fact, still has a good relationship with head coach Dawn Staley.

"She's the type of person you want to have in your corner for future opportunities even if she can't be your coach or I can't be her player," Rivers said Thursday. "We're really excited about this match-up. We saw each other yesterday, hugged it out. First time I've seen her in two years. It's going to be a friendly battle."

The Final Four matchup between No. 1 seed South Carolina and No. 3 seed NC State at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is set for 7 p.m. ET on Friday.