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NC State Basketball

CBS Picks NC State as 1 of 5 that Could Make a Run in March who Missed Dance in 2019

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Matt Ward of CBSSports picked 5 schools that missed the NCAA Tournament in 2019, that could even make a run at the Final Four in 2020. In the past 9 years, 5 teams have made the Final Four who missed the Big Dance the year prior.

NC State was 1 of the 5 teams picked that could make a run.

NC State Wolfpack

After posting a 24-12 record last season, including a 9-9 record in the ACC and an ACC Tournament win over Clemson, the Wolfpack were on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament and will look to return this season. The selection committee didn’t exactly look highly on the Wolfpack’s’ record last season and they had to settle for an NIT bid, ultimately bowing out to Lipscomb. They finished 36th in the final NET rankings, and while 11 at-large bids went to teams ranked below them in the NET, there was just one team ranked above them also left out: NIT champion Texas.

The issue? NC State’s nonconference schedule was ranked dead last in all of Division I — that’s 353rd. The ACC offers a myriad of opportunities, but they didn’t take advantage against the likes of Duke, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida State. The Wolfpack will need to get at least one of those games this season and their nonconference schedule will also be more challenging. Beyond traveling to Auburnand hosting Wisconsin, whom they played last season, they will travel to Greensboro to play UNC Greensboro and will play Memphis at Barclays Center.

Kevin Keatts brings back a wealth of talent, specifically in the backcourt, led by Markell Johnson. The senior point guard is one of the best in the country. C.J. Bryce, Braxton Beverly, and Devon Daniels are also key returners. Their biggest area of improvement will be in the frontcourt. Keatts struggled to find consistency there last season, but the additions of graduate transfers in 6-10 Danny Dixon (UMKC) and 6-8 forward Pat Andree (Lehigh) should reap rapid rewards. Both big men, especially Andree, can stretch out and make shots from 3-point range. Add redshirt freshman Immanuel Bates to the mix, and the Wolfpack frontcourt is much improved.

The Wolfpack are a serious candidate here to go from out to Atlanta. They have experience to couple with young talent led by incoming freshman Dereon Seabron and redshirt sophomore Atticus Taylor. Keatts’ pressing defense can cause difficulties for teams without much time to prepare. The difference maker is Johnson. He is an elite point guard who will have plenty of opportunities to lead the Pack to big wins this season. (CBS)

Ironically, one of the other 5 teams was Memphis, who NC State will be playing in non-conference play in the Barclays Center Classic.

NC State Basketball

Kevin Keatts Presser After UVA Victory: BULLETED

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NC State head coach Kevin Keatts met with the media for his postgame press conference after his Wolfpack squad pulled off a big victory at Virginia last night, winning 53-51. You can watch the presser here, or check out a bulleted breakdown below.

  • 2nd game in a row our guys stepped up and won the game on the defensive end.
  • Knew coming in this is a tough place to play. Virginia is so great on the defensive end.
  • I thought our guys did a tremendous job.
  • This is as tough a game as we’re going to play, especially after playing on Saturday with a short turnaround.
    • To prepare for Virginia with their offense and defense, and add in the fact that we were without Manny Bates and Pat Andree, it made it look tougher.
  • Markell Johnson made some great decisions. He played the entire game without having a turnover.
  • C.J. Bryce is really good. He was tremendous at the end. What a play he made.
  • Give Danny Dixon a lot of credit.
    • Hasn’t played a lot of basketball.
    • Hurt for awhile
    • Stepped in and played well.
  • When we were up 3, I decided to foul because all of the momentum was going towards those guys, and I didn’t want them to come down and make a 3.
    • I thought if they made a 3 in this building, it would be tough for us to win in overtime.
  • I’ve decided this year not to look at the NET.
  • Everybody is saying that the ACC is down. I don’t agree with that.
    • I think the ACC is just balanced. I think we’re still one of the top conferences in the country.
    • We just don’t have the superstars.
  • I’ve got tremendous respect for what Tony Bennett has done here. Because I am from Virginia, I do respect the fact of what he’s done here and what he’s built here.
  • We’re excited because it’s a road win, not just because it’s in Virginia.
  • I don’t know how long Manny Bates will be out.
    • When I saw him get hit, I thought he had something like whiplash.
    • He is in the concussion protocol.
    • I texted him this morning and asked how he was feeling, and he said he was doing ok.
    • He was actually in the training room.
  • Pat Andree has sprained that ankle probably 20 times in his career, so hopefully he’ll be fine also.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 53 Virginia 51: ACCDN Highlight Reel & Condensed Game

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The Wolfpack beat the Cavaliers in Charlottesville for the first time since 2005 last night, holding on for a 53-51 victory. The ACC Digital Network’s Highlight Reel and Condensed Game are below.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 53 Virginia 51: BOX SCORE

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NC State defeated Virginia on the road 53-51 last night, improving to 14-5 on the year. The Box Score is below.

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NC State Basketball

INJURY UPDATE: NC State will be shorthanded tonight vs UVA

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There have been some unconfirmed rumors floating around that Manny Bates did not travel with the team and thus would not be available tonight for the Wolfpack. We have now confirmed those rumors.

Bates did not travel to Charlottesville with the team after suffering a head injury in the early going vs. Clemson. This means State will be shorthanded in the frontcourt tonight against a very big and very physical UVA team.

To make matters worse, Pat Andree is also not likely to be suiting up tonight out for the Wolfpack. Andree suffered an ankle/foot injury. Sources are telling us they hope to have Manny Bates back by this weekend, but we’ve yet to hear a timetable for Andree..

NC State takes on UVA with a short bench and will rely heavily on DJ Funderburk in the middle. Danny Dixon will see extended minutes and Braxton Beverly will see an uptick in usage after logging just 7 minutes against Clemson.

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