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Preview: NC State faces UNC in another must win (9pm, ESPN)

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NC State Wolfpack @ North Carolina Tarheels
Time: 
9pm 
Location: 
Chapel Hill, NC
TV: 
ESPN
Line: UNC -3

What timeline are we living in? NC State sits at 8-8, tied for 5th in the ACC. Meanwhile, UNC is 3-13, last place in the conference. They have lost 7 in a row, one of which was a 17 point loss to the 4-12 Demon Deacons.

Yet, UNC is still the favorite in tonight’s matchup against the Wolfpack and not many people are that surprised.

What to expect from NC State
Not only is this your rivalry game, but it’s a revenge game. UNC’s last win was a 75-65 win over the Pack in late January.  Added on top is the fact that NC State is sitting squarely on the NCAA bubble. A loss to the Heels and they are likely NIT bound. Win, and the dream to dance is still alive.

The Pack needs to do three things.

1) Make sure Markell and Bryce are locked in.
When the senior PG is right, NC State can be dominant. You saw it against Duke, but you’ll need to see it in a game that NC State isn’t the underdog. His 6-19 (and 0-5 from 3) performance last time against Carolina was awful. He wasn’t attacking, he was hesitant and he turned it over 4 times. CJ Bryce was also in the midst of his strange stretch where he couldn’t score and he looked completely lost. He was 0-8 with zero points in that game.

Tonight they need Bryce and Johnson to be clicking on all cylinders.

2) Defend the middle. 
Bates was just back from a concussion the last time these teams met and it showed. Funderburk played well, but Garrison brooks finished with 25 points and 11 boards. Brooks is a good big, but he’s not good enough to take over a game against a healthy Wolfpack frontcourt. They need to make sure they don’t let that happen again.

3) Stop Cole Anthony
Anthony has been good for Carolina since his return but you can expect him to be great tonight unless the Pack can lock down on him. He’s going to look to take over this basketball game, and State can not let that happen. He is averaging almost 20 ppg since his return, however, Carolina hasn’t gotten a win in that span. Anthony is going to be hungry to not only prove he can help this team win but to do it in a setting where he would be knocking his rivals out of NCAA contention.

NC State Basketball

NC State Makes Top-10 for Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier

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George Mason Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier (6’4″/197) included NC State in his list of Final 10 schools.

Kier was granted a fifth year of eligibility after missing all but 9 games last season due to injury. He was expected to arguably be George Mason’s best returning player next year, averaging 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds, earning All-Atlantic 10 2nd Team honors.

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NC State Reaches Out to UAB Transfer Makhtar Guyer

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According to Rivals’ Corey Evans, NC State has reached out to UAB Transfer Forward Makhtar Guyer (6’10″/210), after he announced he was transferring on Friday.

Guyer has one year of eligibility remaining. Last year as a Junior at UAB, Guyer averaged 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds, starting in 27 of 31 games.

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NC State Accepts Recommendation to Move Case to IARP

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NC State has accepted the recommendation to move their violation’s case from the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.

“We’ve stated throughout this process that NC State will accept accountability for any shortcomings and defend ourselves aggressively where we feel it is appropriate and necessary to do so,” Woodson wrote in a statement released by the school on Wednesday. “As our response to the Referral Petition demonstrates, we do not think NC State can receive an objective or fair hearing before the Committee on Infractions in this matter. We believe the only remaining option is that our case be moved to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.

“NC State has a long history of working cooperatively with the NCAA, and we remain committed to working collaboratively through the IARP to address concerns and to resolve this matter as fairly and efficiently as possible.” (WRAL)

The IARP is made up of decision makers that are investigators and legal advocates that are independent of any NCAA teams.

The difference between the traditional process, and the IARP, is that the latter’s decision is final, unable to be appealed.

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Vote For NC State Men’s Basketball Fans in Fox College Hoops 64-Team Bracket

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In the absence of the NCAA Tournament, Fox College Hoops has created a 64-team bracket to determine the best fanbase of Men’s Basketball teams.

They determined 60 of the contestants based of the Men’s Basketball teams with the most Twitter followers. The final four were determined by the highest rated teams not yet selected according to the NET Rankings.

The winner of each matchup is determined by fan vote, obviously.

NC State’s Men’s Basketball fans were given a #8 seed in the East Bracket.

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The winner of the bracket, will earn quite a gift. Fox College Hoops will place a billboard of that team in close proximity to their rival.

Go ahead and vote for NC State to beat Alabama in the 1st round right now.

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