DALLAS — DJ Burns and his NC State basketball teammates were in their locker room in Dallas moments before taking the floor for their NCAA South Region final matchup against Duke on Sunday.

But that’s not the game they were focused on.

Gathered around a TV screen, their attention was sidetracked by their school’s women’s team, which was in the process of closing out its own region championship victory in Portland, Ore.

“We got in trouble for turning it up when we were supposed to be getting ready,” Burns said later that evening. “All the love to them.”

The Wolfpack women beat Texas 76-66 to advance to their first Final Four since 1998.

Perhaps their victory served as inspiration or motivation for their male counterparts, who then punched their first Final Four ticket since 1983 with a 76-64 win against the in-state rival Blue Devils.

The twin triumphs didn’t just put NC State into the history books by making it only the 11th school to send both its men’s and women’s teams to college basketball’s premier event in the same year. (UConn will also be represented by both this year.)

They also brought about a change in the rallying cry coach Kevin Keatts’ men’s team has been using since the start of its improbable postseason run began 9 games ago.

Instead of saying “Why not us?” those representing the Wolfpack have now begun to ask “Why not both?”

At this point, anything is possible. Still, the odds are against both.

The men, seeded 11th in the South Region, are a total outlier in a bracket that also includes semifinal opponent Purdue, defending national champion and fellow 1-seed UConn, and Alabama. They’re listed at +1500 by ESPN BET sportsbook to cut down the nets in Glendale, Ariz.

The women are given only slightly a better chance +1400.

Although they aren’t nearly as big a surprise as the men after winning 31 games, including a regular-season victory against UConn, they are just as easily overlooked in Cleveland among a star-studded field dominated by individual stars Caitlin Clark of Iowa and the Huskies’ Paige Bueckers along with coach Dawn Staley and undefeated South Carolina.

Everyone loves an underdog, though. And people all across the country have been jumping on the Wolfpack’s bandwagon. Especially a men’s team that had to win 5 games in as many days at the ACC Tournament just to earn an NCAA bid.

As many fans as both Wolfpack teams have picked up along the way these past few weeks, their most dedicated supporters are each other.

After cutting down the nets and celebrating in their locker room following Sunday’s region final, Wes Moore and his players returned the favor by finding a quiet spot with a TV and rooting their male counterparts on to victory.

“I don’t think we just look at them as just our men’s team, they’re like our brothers,” senior guard Madison Hayes said. “We’ve been supporting them when everyone was doubting them.”

And the feeling is mutual.

Burns said that members of the teams exchanged phone calls to talk about their games and express support for one another on the day between their regional victories.

“Their players and our players, they’re connected,” Keatts said. “They come to our games. We go to their games. We celebrate with them and they celebrate with us. It’s really like a family affair.

“It’s really a special deal. If you were able to be around our campus and see the support that we give one another, you’d say it’s great.”

As close as the players are, the bond between their coaches is even tighter.

Their mutual respect is the product of similar professional backgrounds. Both started their climb to the top of their profession by starting at the absolute bottom rung of the ladder.

Moore served apprenticeships at Division III Maryville, Division II Francis Marion and mid-major Chattanooga before finally getting his shot at NC State in 2013 at the age of 56.

Keatts didn’t have to wait as long to get his big break. But his journey began even farther off the beaten path at the prep school level at Hargrave Military Academy. His story has an even more amazing twist because without the success his team has enjoyed over the past month, which has earned him a 2-year contract extension and $300,000 in bonuses, he might have been out of a job.

“For us to be here and living the dream with the opportunity to coach great ladies and great men, and teach them the right way, it’s great,” Keatts said.

“I’m super excited for Coach Keatts,” Moore added. “He’s a great guy. He’s worked for everything. It’s exciting for our university, our students and our fans. It’s just a lot of fun.”

That fun spilled over into the streets, literally, last Sunday both the women and men won their regional titles within a few hours of one another.

A crowd of several thousand students and fans gathered around NC State’s Bell Tower, illuminated in red for the occasion, to revel in an unexpected success several decades in the making. They stuck around until the wee hours of the morning to greet both of their teams upon their arrival home.

One can only imagine how big the party could grow next week should both teams come home from their Final Fours with championship trophies.