The ACC Title Returns to North Carolina


NC State women’s basketball won their 2nd consecutive ACC title March 7, 2021. This marks the program’s 6th ACC championship as they clinch a top five seed for the NCAA tournament (photo provided by 

The NC State women’s basketball team defended their ACC title by defeating the Louisville Cardinals 58-56. 

Throughout, the game remained close. This game came down to the very end. Raina Perez, NC State guard, hit the winning shot to give her and the Wolfpack a two point lead. 

Ironically, the play was not meant for her. The play was meant for the Wolfpack’s star player, Elissa Cunane. 

I hadn’t made a shot all second half, so I think I was kind of more in my head,” Perez told reporters. “But then they doubled on (Cunane), and I was wide open. I had to take it. And what do you know, it went in.”

After her shot, the game was not over yet. WIth 2.1 seconds, Louisville advanced the ball to their star and two-time ACC player of the year, Dana Evans. Evans attempted a three-pointer as time was winding down. Her shot did not fall, resulting in the Cardinals loss. 

Perez was not the only star of the game. Cunane was the only player on the roster to score double digits for State. She finished with 20 points, adding to her 27 point performance against Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals and 23 points against Georgia Tech in the semifinals. 

NC State head coach, Wes Moore, expressed to reporters via Zoom how proud he was of his girls coming back from an 8 point deficit in the fourth quarter. “Louisville is so, so talented and well-coached,” he told reporters. “[Louisville] did a great job defensively, low-scoring game, but we found a way to get it done. Players made plays.” 

Going into the game, the Wolfpack were behind the Cardinals in the ACC rankings despite beating the Cardinals earlier in the season; State definitely came in as the underdogs of the tournament. 

The Wolfpack’s next stop will be in Texas for the NCAA tournament. With this win, they are in the running for claiming the number one seed of the tournament now that they are the top team in their conference, the ACC.  

Before 2020, the last time the Wolfpack won the tournament was in 1991. Wolfpack fans are on the edge of their seats waiting to find out the fate of the program in the NCAA tournament.  

State has beaten the number one seed twice (both times Louisville), proving why they should receive that number one seed. On the other hand, Moore has faith that his girls will take care of business regardless of their seed. 

Sunday was a great day for the NC State women’s basketball program. Next stop, the ladies have to wait to see where they end up for the biggest tournament in women’s basketball.       


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