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NC State Basketball

ACC OPENER BREAKDOWN: Louisville has a well-balanced attack, but NC State matches up well

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Louisville comes into tomorrow’s ACC opener with a 5-2 record with losses to Furman and #22 Michigan State. Their best win so far was a 63-55 win over Maryland. So what should we expect when they head to Raleigh to take on the Pack?

Well, first off, this Louisville team really doesn’t have a super-star. They are well-balanced. Their leading scorer is SG Noah Locke at 11 points per game. After that, it’s guard Dre Davis at 9 points and senior forward Malik Williams at 8.

Locke is a Senior guard who has averaged 10 points over his sophomore and junior seasons. He can get hot, and when he does, he’s hard to handle. He’s 6’3 and can score off the dribble, but he’s also a good catch and shoot guy. He’s shooting just 33% from 3 and 35% from the field, but over the past two seasons, he’s been over 40% from long range and over 42% from the floor. Now, Locke is talented, but it’s not like State can’t match up with him. All of the Pack’s most-used guards are over 6’3 (and quick), so there won’t be a mismatch in this situation.

The big problem for State may be senior forward Malik Williams. The 6’11 big is mobile, long, and a rebounding machine. Ebe Dowuona has been making some huge strides over the past 3 games, but he’s going to be giving up 25 pounds to Williams, and it’s likley Louisville will try to spread the floor and attack him. This matchup will be interesting, and likely play a big role in which team comes out on top.

The matchup, size-wise looks like this…

West (5’11) vs. Hayes (6’3)
Locke (6’3) vs Morsell (6’3) or Smith (6’4)
Davis (6’5) vs Seabron (6’7)
Withers (6’8) vs. Hellems (6’7)
Williams (6’11) vs Dowuona (6’11)

While you’d assume NC State has the advantage at PG with Hayes having 4 inches on West, the Pack has struggled over the years against smaller, quicker guards, Power-5 guards. Their ability to get in the lane and cause havoc has been an Achilles heel for Keatts’ squads. West is shifty and really isn’t looking to score when he gets in the paint. He’s looking to set up his teammates, and that’s going to lead to some open 3s.

The good news, for State, is that Louisville isn’t shooting the ball that well from outside. As a team, they’re shooting just 29% from beyond the arc (after shooting just 30% last year).

Looking further into the stats, State has a few advantages. While they too aren’t shooting it well from deep (30%), they are tied in per game rebounds at 41, scoring 10 more points per game than Louisville and turning it over just 10 times per game, while the Cardinals have been pretty careless at 15 TOs per game.

Both teams are shooting 42% from the field and both are getting about 8 steals per game.

Louisville is averaging 12 assists per game, while State averages 10. However, State averages 5 blocks per game, and Louisville hasn’t been protecting the rim that well (just 2.9 blocks per game.)

You can get a feel for how the Cardinals play by watching the highlights above, but in our opinion, this is a winnable game for the Pack. The keys will be getting Seabron off, having Dowuona hold Williams in check, and having Morsell available coming off his ankle injury.

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NC State Basketball

It’s Not Over Till It’s Over

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Look…I know the odds of NC State’s Men’s Basketball team going to the NCAA Tournament is next to zero percent.

In fact, according to Bart Torvik, the Wolfpack have a 1.1% chance of making the Dance as an at-large bid.

Don’t accuse me of wearing rose colored glasses, because I’m not. The fact remains, it’s not over until it is over.

What would have to happen for NC State to make the NCAA Tournament?

More than likely, NC State would have to win out the rest of the way, in games against Boston College, @ FSU, @ UNC, Duke and @ Pitt.

Maybe there’s a scenario where the Wolfpack beats BC, FSU, Pitt and beats either Duke or UNC. In order for that to play out, I imagine the Wolfpack would have to make a splash in the ACC Tournament as well.

Or maybe NC State could earn a bid winning 4 of 5 if they all of a sudden put together astronomical offensive and defensive efficiency numbers, which thus far has killed their position in the NET Rankings.

Either way, you would need some legit Cardiac Pack vibes for this team to make the Dance.

Call me unrealistic, but I think NC State should be in the NCAA Tournament every single season. Historically speaking, heading into this season, NC State ranked 27th for the most wins in college basketball history. If I lowered the standard a bit to 75%, accounting for an off year every now and then, the program is still way off the mark.

Read into this what you will, but if the Wolfpack doesn’t go to the Big Dance this year, that means they will have only gone twice in the past 7 years, and in my opinion, that’s unacceptable.

With that being said…GO PACK!

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NC State Basketball

#6 NC State 70 UNC 80: BOX SCORE (with notes)

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#6 NC State was defeated by their rival UNC this evening, falling 70-80 to the Tar Heels. Below is the Box Score with notes underneath.

Notes

  • This game came down to shooting.
    • UNC shot 50.8% from the field and NC State shot 35.2%.
    • The Tar Heels shot an insane 52.4% from three, hitting 11 from beyond the arc.
      • The Wolfpack shot 9 of 27 from deep.
  • Junior Guard Aziaha James led the Pack with 24 points (10-24), and also grabbed 9 rebounds.
  • Senior Forward Mimi Collins had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
    • The Pack needed to feed Collins. She was 3 of 6 from the field.
  • Junior Guard Saniya Rivers had 13 points (4-13), and knocked down 4 three pointers (3-6).
  • Senior Guard Madison Hayes had 11 points (4-12) and 9 boards.
  • Senior Center River Baldwin struggled, hitting 2 of her 9 shots.
  • The Wolfpack did manage to score 17 second chance points, compared to UNC’s 7.
    • They also made 11 free throws, compared to UNC’s 5.
  • UNC played extremely good defense, but NC State missed an obscene amount of shots around the rim.
  • The Tar Heels looked like the better team tonight, leading for 3/4th of the game.

The Wolfpack will play at Duke on Sunday at 5:30pm on ACC Network.

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NC State Basketball

#6 NC State Looks to Sweep Rival UNC This Evening

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The 6th ranked NC State Women’s Basketball team is looking to sweep their rival UNC this evening at 8pm on ACC Network. Back on February 1st, the Wolfpack beat the Tar Heels 63-59. At the time NC State was ranked 5th, and UNC was ranked 24th.

Since arriving in Raleigh, Wolfpack Head Coach Wes Moore has led NC State to a 13-9 overall record against the Tar Heels, but they are 4-6 in Chapel Hill under his watch.

NC State lost to UNC the last time the game was played in enemy territory, falling 46-57 loss in Carmichael Arena on January 15th of last year. In that contest, the Wolfpack were ranked 11th and the Tar Heels were ranked 22nd.

If NC State wins tonight, it will mark the 4th time that Moore has led the Wolfpack to sweep UNC in the regular season.

Historically, NC State holds a 63-54 advantage in the series against UNC, but they are 20-30 on the road.

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NC State Basketball

NC State’s Wes Moore is 1 of 15 on the Late Season Watchlist for the Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year Award

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NC State Women’s Basketball Head Coach Wes Moore is 1 of 15 on the Naismith Late Season Watchlist for the Coach of the Year Award.

Currently, Moore has led NC State from being unranked in the preseason polls, to #6 currently. The Wolfpack are 23-3, and numerous publications project them to be a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Moore was a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award in 2020-21 and a Semifinalist in 2015-16.

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