It will be UNC's sixth trip to the College World Series in eight years, though the first meeting between the schools — separated by about a 30-minute drive along Interstate 40 — in the NCAA tournament.
"I do think it certainly has brought attention to college baseball in this area especially," UNC coach Mike Fox said after Tuesday's win. "I know how hard Elliott has worked over there with his program. It's hard, it's hard to get to Omaha — I keep telling myself that. We're going six times in eight years, and I told the players (Monday) night, it's mind-blowing to me."
The teams met three times this year, twice in Raleigh during an April series. The Tar Heels took the series opener 7-1 to end the Wolfpack's 15-game winning streak, the program's longest in a decade. N.C. State won the second game 7-3, but the third game was rained out.
Then came the ACC tournament marathon in Durham, which drew the biggest ever crowd for a college baseball game (11,392) in the history of the state.
N.C. State's players are ready for another shot at North Carolina — and beyond.
"We're not going there to play two games, we're going to play more," sophomore Trea Turner said. "Hopefully we can do that against Carolina and whoever we play after that. We definitely think we can win it ... and we're going to give it our all."