NC State Wolfpack vs. Boston College
Location: Raleigh, NC
Line: NC State -6
NC State hasn’t won back-to-back games since they topped Nebraska on December 1st. That means, when they take the floor tonight against Boston College, they will have their have the chance to go on their first winning streak in conference play.
To do this, the Pack is going to need to recreate what they did against Georgia Tech, a game where they got double-digit scoring from their 3 top guys. Seabron had a double-double, Smith played just 24 minutes and scored 26 points and Hellems finished with 15 points and 7 boards (despite shooting just 3-16 from the floor.) They also finally saw glimpses of Cam Hayes breaking out. Remember, we noted that a Cam Hayes late-season breakout was looking more likely just a couple of weeks ago. Hayes went 6-13 from the floor, scored 14 points and even pitched in with 5 boards and 2 assists (in just 25 minutes).
State really needs to get production from someone outside of their big 3 if they want to put a run together. Hayes snapping out of his slump would be ideal, but Casey Morsell has also emerged as a potential scoring option late in ACC play. Either of these two getting going would be a huge boost for the Pack.
Meanwhile, Boston College is 5-11 (12th in the ACC0 on the season, just a game up on NC State. They too are coming off a win.
The Eagles crushed FSU (71-55) last time out, but had lost their previous 5. They rely on 6’3 senior guard Makai Ashton-Langford who averages 12 points and 3.5 assist per game. He’s shooting just 30% from long range, so he’s not a guy that’s going to kill you from outside, but he is a talented kid who makes the Eagles go.
Then there is 6’5 sophomore guard DeMarr Langford Jr who averages 11 ppg. He too shoots in the low 30s from 3, so again, another guy who makes his living driving to the hoop. This is who BC is. They have big guards and they want to create mismatches with these guys. That can work at times, but against NC State it’s not going to be an advantage. The Pack is big at every position, and will switch every screen, meaning you aren’t going to see many mismatches.
In the paint, BC relies on James Karnik, a 6’9 230lb senior. He’s 9 points and 5 boards per game. He’s not going to out athlete anyone, and he’s not a super physical player on the block. In fact, Karnik is a great matchup for Dowuona. He’s not going to be able to get great position, and if he does, he’s giving up size and athleticism.
This is a good matchup for the Pack and there’s a good chance they finally get their first winning streak of the ACC season here.
It’s Not Over Till It’s Over
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!
#6 NC State 70 UNC 80: BOX SCORE (with notes)
#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.
- 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.
#6 NC State Looks to Sweep Rival UNC This Evening
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.
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
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.
The leader of our Pack 🐺🐺
— NC State WBB 🐺🏀 (@PackWomensBball) February 21, 2024
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.