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NCAA basketball: North Carolina State beats Georgetown

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It was another bitter disappointment for Georgetown, also a legendary program trying to reclaim a glowing legacy. The Hoyas were knocked out in their first game in each of the previous two NCAA tournaments, and the players said they had finally shed the stigma of those defeats with a 74-59 victory over Belmont on Friday.

They also had put aside a strange year that began with the team attacked by the crowd and opposing players in an exhibition game in China.

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"This team, in spite of whatever downs we’ve had and losses like today, has been a really special group," coach John Thompson III said.

This continues to be a special year for the Wolfpack, a team that no one thought would be dancing this late in the year.

Well, almost no one.

"One of the first things I said to coach Gottfried when I met him, I said, ‘I don’t want this to be a rebuilding year. I don’t want to just play to get better. I think we’ve got the talent and the pieces that we could be a dominant team,’" Wood said.

Brown couldn’t wipe the smile off his face after the game.

"You never know what to expect in this tournament," he said, sounding far more sage than a sophomore should. "A lot of great teams went down a couple of days ago. And we’re just out here playing our best. And Coach is a believer in us and we believe in ourselves."


Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap

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