NC State became the first team in ACC history to advance past the quarterfinal round after playing in the play-in game. The ACC adopted the play-in game format in 1992 when Florida State joined the conference. After defeating top seed Duke in the quarterfinals, NC State surprisingly defeated #5 seed Maryland to advance to the championship game. Their Cinderella run through the tournament ended against rival North Carolina in the final. The 1997 NC State Wolfpack remained the lowest seeded team to ever make the ACC Tournament Final, until the 2007 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament. Shammond Williams was the tournament MVP.