Chuck Burton, Associated Press
North Carolina State head coach Mark Gottfried calls a play against North Carolina during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, Saturday, March 10, 2012, in Atlanta.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina State is back in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006.

The Wolfpack (22-12) earned the No. 11 seed in the Midwest Region and will face sixth-seeded San Diego State on Friday in Columbus, Ohio. N.C. State's players had a stressful Selection Sunday, waiting until the last pairing was revealed to learn they were in for the first time in their careers.

N.C. State knew it was on the bubble coming into the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, then beat Boston College and Virginia to improve its chances.

The Wolfpack lost a tough game to top-seeded North Carolina in Saturday's semifinals, denying the program of a marquee win that would've likely removed any doubt about its NCAA chances.