Three years into their journey at the top level of college basketball, they're here.
Their reward? A No. 14 seed in the East Regional with a second-round matchup Friday against third-seeded and Big 12 tournament champion Iowa State (26-7).
Given their venture into new territory, coach LeVelle Moton will have to guard against his players simply getting overwhelmed by the moment.
Moton said he wants North Carolina Central (28-5) to enjoy the trip, because they may never get here again. But he also warned them to get it out of their system by game time if they want to win and advance.