NC State Wolfpack @ Clemson Tigers
7pm | Clemson, SC | ESPNU
The Wolfpack are coming off a heartbreaking loss to #1 Syracuse, a win that would have pretty much locked them into the NCAA tournament. Now, with only six games left to play, they’re going to have to fight and claw to make it into the big dance. That starts tonight against Clemson.
This game is huge for State. Both teams are currently tied for 6th in the conference. The winner of this game moves 1 game back from Pitt in the standings and sets themselves up for a late season run that could end with an at-large bid to the tournament. This game, however, is tough to get a good read on. How will the Wolfpack respond to the devastating 1 point loss at Syracuse? How will Clemson come out after 3 straight losses that have really hurt their postseason chances? We’ll take a look at this and more in our pre-game notes below:
How will NC State bounce back after ‘Cuse loss?
I’m real used to NC State heartbreak at this point, but that Syracuse ending might have taken the cake (or it’s at least right up there with the full court shot Florida hit to win the game a few years back). So who will this team react? They’re young and they haven’t felt what they’re feeling right now. They had a win over the #1 team in their hands and thanks to some botched late game possessions and some sketchy officiating, it slipped away. Now it’s up to them. This season isn’t over by any means. They are sitting at 6th in the conference and are honestly playing their best ball of the season. At this point it all comes down to their response to that loss. Will they come out hanging their heads or will they come out hungry, with an us against the world attitude? I think if Gottfried can connect with his team, and we know he can, this team is going to come out starving for a win. I wouldn’t be surprised to see State play one of their better games of the season against Clemson.
Is Kyle Washington for real?
After that 14 point, 10 rebound performance against #1 Syracuse, yes, I do think Washington has arrived. With freshmen you can really see a real pronounced change in their game as the season rolls along. For Washington you’d see these spurts of really impressive play, but there was still that self-doubt or lack of confidence based on lack of seniority and his then current role. A performance like he had on a national stage is usually can flip the light switch for a player. It can give them that assurance that they’re capable and it gives them assurance that their team wants and needs them to produce. For Kyle, I think that’s all he needed. He’s playing so strong and I think will be a true force from here on out. I think we’ve just witnessed the arrival of big time player here at NC State.
How does NC State prepare for Clemson?
The Tigers are hungry, but they’re also likely feeling a little doubt after losing 3 straight and really dropping themselves in the ACC rankings. Sure they have been close games to good teams, but a loss is still a loss and 3 straight can definitely get in your mind. NC State definitely has a good chance in this one if they can come out with a chip on their shoulder. The real decider in this one is toughness. Clemson is a good defensive team and they’re going to be physical with State and pressure them on defense, something the Pack has really struggled with this season. Lewis is going to be the key again. If he can handle the pressure and control the pace, State can really take it to this team. With they way they are defending lately they won’t have a tough time stopping this Clemson team’s offense. They really only have one decent scorer in KJ McDaniels who is averaging 17 ppg, but if TJ Warren can shut down CJ Fair then I’m not sure that McDaniels is going to be much different. At 6’6 he’s a little smaller and definitely quicker, but he loves to attack and can still hurt you from outside if you leave him wide open. But again, the Clemson offense isn’t what you need to worry about, it’s their defense. They are physical, they are pretty strong and they rebound the ball well. This is going to be another game where the Pack is going to need big performances form Vandy and Washington if they want to stay in control. If they play tough, Lewis protects the ball and controls the pace, and the bigs play hungry, then State can pull off a win here.
NC State’s Men’s Basketball Team is Having One of it’s Best Runs in the ACC Ever
Heading into tonight’s Top-25 matchup between #22 NC State and #8 UVA, the Wolfpack are in the midst of one of their best runs in ACC play since the conference was formed in 1953.
The Wolfpack are 9-4 in the ACC, but they have won 8 of their last 9 conference games.
The last time NC State went on a run like this in ACC Regular Season games was during the 1972-73 and 73-74 seasons, when the Wolfpack went 12-0 in ACC play.
12-0 (1972 & 73-74)
12 of 13 (1958-59)
8 of 9 (2022-23, 1961-61, 1954-55)
7 of 8 (1974-75, 1969-70, 1964-65, 1955-56)
6 of 7 (2005-06, 1979-80, 1960-61, 1957-58)
#22 NC State is a 7.5-Point Underdog at #8 UVA Tonight
#22 NC State is a 7.5-point underdog at #8 Virginia tonight at 9pm, and the Total is sitting at 137.
- NC State is 19-5 Straight Up.
- They are 11-11-2 Against the Spread.
- UVA is 17-4 Straight Up.
- They are 8-12-1 Against the Spread.
- The Total has gone Over in 13 of NC State’s 24 games.
- The Total has gone Over in 12 of UVA’s 22 games
- UVA is 15-2 as the Favorite.
- NC State is 4-4 as the Underdog.
- NC State is 4-1-1 in their last 6 games against UVA Against the Spread.
- The Total has gone Over in 5 of NC State’s last 7 games.
- The Total has gone Over in 4 of UVA’s last 5 games.
- The Total has gone Under in 5 of the last 6 games between these two in Charlottesville.
- NC State has won two in a row, and 3 of the last 4 against UVA.
- Kevin Keatts is 3-4 against UVA. He is 2-2 at UVA.
NC State vs. UVA
NC State is the ONLY Team in the Triangle Ranked for the 1st Time in 40 Years
NC State’s Men’s Basketball team is back in the AP Top 25 for the first time in 4 years, landing at #22 in the Week 14 AP Poll.
NC State is ranked. Duke and UNC are not. Last time that was the case? December 27th, 1982. Over 40 years ago. It’s only the 6th time in 67 years that this has happened.
Wolfpack was 17th that week. UNC was unranked in two polls all year, Dec. 20 and Dec. 27. Duke was not ranked that season (Dawkins, Alarie, Bilis, Henderson were freshmen).
Other *cough* ACC teams on Dec. 27: Virginia (4), Louisville (13), Syracuse (14).
— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) February 6, 2023
Before that: The preseason poll in 1973, the final poll in 1970 and Dec. 5, 1955. So this is the sixth time in 67 years.
Happened pretty often between 1952-55. NC State was ranked during the entire 1950-51 season while neither Duke nor UNC was.
— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) February 6, 2023
Anyone remember what happened that 1982-83 basketball season?
NC State won the National Championship.
NC State Breaks Into the AP Poll, Landing at #22
NC State is off to it’s best start in almost 2 decades, and they now finally have a number beside their name, landing at #22 in the Week 14 AP Poll.
— NC State Men's Bball (@PackMensBball) February 6, 2023
This is the first time that NC State has been ranked in the AP Poll since January 28th, 2019, when they were ranked 23rd.
ACC Teams in the Week 14 AP Poll
22. NC State