For Terry and Lara Reed, along with countless other NC State fans, a final touching tribute from the ACC champion and Final Four men’s basketball team put the cherry on top of magical double Final Four weekend.

For Lara, it was a trip with her two daughters to Cleveland to see NC State’s women take on eventual NCAA Champion South Carolina in the Final Four.

“My daughter is a senior is NC State,” Lara Reed said to Carolina Journal. “For the last three years my daughter has not missed a single women’s game. When they made it, we said we were going.”

She continued, “We were able to see the team at the hotel and see the team. We would not have traded it for anything in the world. Seeing four incredible teams, in NC State, South Carolina, Connecticut, and Iowa, was a one-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Terry’s husband went west. The former MR. WUF mascot from the late 1980’s, Terry joined a group of buddies in the official NC State fan traveling party.

NC State’s men’s team returned home Sunday evening after falling to Purdue in the National Semi Finals, to a huge crowd.

The traveling party stayed through the Monday National Championship game, returning to RDU Tuesday evening.

Returning the favor

But in a moving gesture, team members, who have thrilled Wolfpack fans for a month, went from being cheered to doing the cheering. The team was at the airport to cheer and celebrate the fans on the two return charter flights.

On her X account, Laura Reed called it “FREAKING amazing” and “absolutely unbelievable” that the Pack men’s team was the “welcoming committee” for her husband and others in the traveling party.

Teddy Reed (center) greeted by the NC State players when they returned to RDU

“They had no idea the team was going to meet them,” Laura Reed said. “For them to come and pay their respect to the team was just amazing. These guys have restored so much positivity to the university. For those players to come to the airport and welcome the fans back home says something about the tremendous character of these young men.”

College athletics is changing and changing fast. With more and more big money involved, there is much debate about what is good for the players, the game, and the schools. But over the last month, ending with a touching surprise welcome party at RDU, NC State has shown why we love the game, this team, and the magic of March.