How many schools made it to the CWS and Men’s and Women’s Final Four in the same year?

There are certain events in college athletics that teams in a given sport spend months or even years dreaming about achieving.

It’s not necessarily all championship games, but a round or two before – a step in the journey that can feel like a destination. Achieving this goal not only rewards, but in many ways validates, the tireless and diligent work of a team.

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In college football, it’s the College Football Playoff, which will expand from four to 12 teams for the upcoming 2024 season. In men’s and women’s college basketball, it’s the Final Four. In college baseball, it’s the College World Series.

Advancing to just one of those events is a significant milestone, not just for an individual program, but for an entire athletic department. Making two in one year is a remarkable achievement. And three of them in one academic year? Well, that’s a feat that few in the history of college sports can claim.

NC State is now one of them.

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By advancing to the 2024 College World Series, where it begins play against Kentucky on Saturday, the Wolfpack baseball team continued a stellar 2023-2024 athletics campaign for its school. In the span of just two months, NC State has seen its baseball team reach the CWS, as well as its men’s and women’s basketball teams march all the way to the Final Four.

How unusual is that for an achievement? Here’s a look at the history of schools that made it to the CWS, Men’s Final Four, and Women’s Final Four in the same year:

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How many schools have made both the Final Four and the College World Series in the same year?

This spring, NC State became just the third school ever to reach the men’s Final Four, women’s Final Four and College World Series in the same year.

The Wolfpack is joined in that exclusive group by Texas in 2003 and Louisville in 2013.

It wasn’t just the three sports that NC State excelled in in 2023-2024. The Wolfpack also won the ACC wrestling championship, the sixth straight time they have done so, and the ACC women’s gymnastics championship. The football team also went 9-4 and finished the season ranked 21st in the American LBM Coaches Poll.

Schools that made it to both the Final Fours and the College World Series in the same year

Here’s a look at the schools that made the CWS and the men’s and women’s Final Four in the same year, in chronological order.

Texas (2003)

Led by All-American guard TJ Ford, the Longhorns earned a No. 1 seed in the 2003 NCAA Tournament and advanced to the program’s first and only Final Four since 1947. Once there, they lost to eventual national champion Syracuse and freshman phenom Carmelo Anthony. .

Their women’s team, with its own All-America selection in Stacy Stephens, won the first four games of the NCAA tournament by a combined 92 points before falling 71-69 to UConn, which would win the championship game two days later. later to complete a 37-1 season. It was the second-smallest win of the season for the Huskies.

Later that spring, the Texas baseball team made its 30th all-time CWS appearance. Once there, it advanced to the semifinals of the tournament but lost to domestic foe Rice, the second defeat in the event for the Owls, who went on to claim the CWS title in three games against Stanford.

Louisville (2013)

While the Texas teams largely swept these prestigious events without doing much damage, Louisville had some notable victories.

The Cardinals men’s basketball team had the signature performance of the bunch, earning a No. 1 overall seed into the NCAA Tournament. Once in the Final Four, the Cardinals defeated Wichita State and Michigan to win the program’s third all-time national championship. (Interestingly, current NC State basketball head coach Kevin Keatts was an assistant on that team under coach Rick Pitino).

While Louisville’s men’s program made that run, the women’s team advanced deep in the tournament, defeating reigning national champion Baylor in the Sweet 16 and defeating Tennessee in the Elite Eight and Cal in the Final Four. In the title game, it was defeated by UConn in what would be the first of four consecutive championships for the Huskies.

The decorated spring was celebrated with the Cardinals in May, when their baseball program made its second-ever CWS. It was eliminated from the tournament with losses in each of the first two matches.

NC State (2024)

The Wolfpack earning this distinction could easily have been predicted in two of the sports.

The NC State women’s basketball team was an ACC power under coach Wes Moore, making the NCAA tournament in five of the past six years. In 2024, it got a major break: With a No. 3 seed in its region, the Wolfpack defeated No. 1 seed Texas in the Elite Eight to advance to the program’s second-ever Final Four. There it lost to No. 1 overall seed and eventual national champion South Carolina.

The school’s baseball program was not in a drought for long, having advanced to the College World Series in both 2013 and 2021. But like the women’s basketball team, the school also took advantage of a great regular season to advance to the CWS as the No. 10 national seed. That streak was capped off by going on the road and beating No. 7 Georgia in three games in the Athens Super Regional.

The surprise of the group was the Wolfpack men’s basketball team, which entered the ACC Tournament with a 17-14 record, leading to mounting speculation about Keatts’ job security. After pulling away late to defeat last-place Louisville in the opening game of the tournament, NC State went on an incredible run, winning each of the next eight games to win the ACC Tournament and reach the first Final Four since 1983. That streak was interrupted by a 76-64 victory against foe Duke in the Elite Eight. That tear ended in the Final Four, where they lost 63-50 to Purdue.

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