NC State’s Final Four run a ‘special’ moment for KJ, Kevin Keatts

On3 imageby:Noah Fleischman04/01/24

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KJ Keatts
Mar 15, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard KJ Keatts (13) places the team sticker on the tournament bracket after their game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS — KJ Keatts has spent a lot of time in his teammates’ arms, flying through the air after each NC State win this postseason. It’s become tradition for the walk-on sophomore guard to be lifted high into the air by the Wolfpack to simulate an airplane as he sticks the advancing sticker to the board.  Keatts, son of NC State coach Kevin Keatts, has gotten a lot of mileage in the air with the Wolfpack’s nine straight wins en route to the program’s first Final Four appearance since 1983.  Each time he is lifted up by his teammates, NC State’s entire team seems to act as if it’s the first time he has done it. The joy is contagious each time he places the Wolfpack’s name on the respective board as they move on in the tournament.  And while everyone has joy in it, there’s one person who is usually beaming the most as he watches from a few feet away: Kevin.