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Elite Eight Preview: Underdog NC State Takes on the UCONN Giant

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NC State Wolfpack vs. UCONN Huskies
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Bridgeport, CT
TV: ESPN
Line: UCONN -4

 

Here we go, ladies and gentleman. After a miracle comeback versus Notre Dame (breaking a cursed record of 1-13 in Sweet Sixteen games), State takes the next step in their attempt to return to the Final Four for the first time since 1998.

And they couldn’t have been given a rougher path.

On the road, in a virtual home game for UCONN, State is the only top-seed underdog for this entire Tournament.

 

Keys to a State Victory

Control Your Emotions

On Saturday for the UCONN – Indiana game, the arena was rocking with Husky fans. No doubt the Bridgeport will be 90% Huskies faithful. While IU benefited from fans of the remaining three regional teams, State will be by their lonesome Monday night.

State has to weather the storm and stay focused.

When UCONN smells blood in the water, it could be over fast. IU started rocky and never got fully up to speed. In the second quarter of their last game, State got beat up by Notre Dame 26-14, and frankly, were lucky to be in striking distance at half. That span of offensive struggles mixed with inability to get stops on the other end, CANNOT happen. Especially with thousands of loud navy and red fans in attendance.

Also, there can’t be a let down after breaking the Sweet Sixteen Curse. So much emotion postgame – totally understandable – but they have to be locked back in tonight. The goal wasn’t just to make the Elite Eight.

 

Get Ready for a Literal Dog Fight

When State struggles, it tends to be against teams that are just ultra physical. Opponents that make things difficult in the paint, means key aspects of the Pack’s offense (inside to Cunane and driving the ball from Jones and Johnson) are nearly nonexistent. UCONN has some major size on their side. They are aggressive on the ball and love to transition in full force. At no point can State be caught standing. Furthermore, there can’t be a reliance on fouls, as we’ve seen beyond inconsistent reffing.

Wolfpack have to find their groove from three to spread the floor. Perez and Johnson were nowhere to be found until late in the first half. The rest of the team NEEDS to be willing to drive and dish. They need to ensure that the ball doesn’t stop. Spread the floor and be ready to absolutely go to war in the paint.

 

Can’t Stop UCONN Guards, Just Have to Hope to Contain Them

In the fourth quarter, Perez and Crutchfield were incredible on the defensive half of the court. They’ll need every bit of that energy for the full 48 tonight.

While Paige Bueckers hasn’t looked herself this year, coming back from injury, there is plenty of other fire power from the Guard position. With any space, Fudd will nail every three pointer on the planet (44% from three this season, probably 97% in the NCAAT, rough guess). Williams and Ducharme are also going to get their buckets.

If you were sick of announcers talking about ND’s Olivia Mills, buckle up. Two of these guards are going to have a game. Need to do everything to lessen the damage and push hard twos.

 

In Order to Win…

  • Cunane needs a double-double (if she scores 10 points, will mark the 11th time in last 12 games).
  • Johnson and Perez need to account for at least six threes. (Spread that floor)
  • Jones, Boyd and Brown-Turner have to bring show up on the stat sheet with consistency on both ends
  • Crutchfield needs to be locked in once again…adding eight-plus points would help her cause
  • No four/five straight minutes of bad play
  • FINISH AT THE HOOP WHEN YOU GET THE CHANCE (single-handedly left 10 points from close range misses against ND)

Believe in this team. Believe in Coach Moore. Slay the Giant. #GoPack

 

 

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Women's Basketball

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: NC State Moves Up to #15 After Win Over Notre Dame

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The NC State Women’s Basketball (16-5) team moved up 5 spots in the Week 13 AP Poll, after defeating Notre Dame 69-65 yesterday, who was ranked 7th then, and ranked 9th now.

(ESPN)

ACC Teams in the Week 13 AP Poll

9. Notre Dame

11. UNC

13. Virginia Tech

15. NC State

16. Duke

23. FSU

The Wolfpack’s next game will be on Thursday night on the road at Georgia Tech at 8pm on ACC Network.

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NC State Signee Zoe Brooks is a McDonald’s All-American

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NC State Women’s Basketball 2023 signee Zoe Brooks was named a McDonald’s All-American yesterday.

McDonald’s All American Game East Roster
Player High School Position Height Committed to
Zoe Brooks Saint John Vianney (NJ) G 5-10 NC State
Essence Cody Valdosta (GA) F 6-3 Alabama
Aalyah Del Rosario The Webb School (CA) F 6-5 LSU
Jadyn Donovan Sidwell Friends School (DC) G 6-0 Duke
Milaysia Fulwiley W.J. Keenan (SC) G 5-6 South Carolina
Hannah Hildalgo Paul VI (NJ) G 5-6 Notre Dame
Riley Nelson Bullis School (MD) W 6-0 Maryland
Courtney Ogden Westminster School (GA) W 5-11 Stanford
Laila Reynolds Shabach Christian (FL) F 6-2 Florida
Emma Risch Palm Bay Magnet (FL) G 6-1 Notre Dame
Taliah Scott Saint John’s Country Day (FL) G 5-9 Arkansas
Ashlynn Shade La Lumiere (IN) G 5-9 UConn
McDonald’s All American Game West Roster
Player High School Position Height Committed to
Kamorea Arnold Germantown (WI) G 5-9 UConn
Sofia Bell Jesuit (OR) W 6-1 Oregon
Madison Booker Germantown (MS) W 6-1 Texas
Addyson Brown Derby Senior (KS) W 6-2 Iowa State
Breya Cunningham La Jolla Country Day (CA) F 6-4 Arizona
Kymora Johnson Saint Annes-Belfield (VA) G 5-7 Virginia
Tessa Johnson Saint Michael Albertville (MN) G 5-10 South Carolina
Amanda Muse Heritage (CA) F 6-4 UCLA
Judea Watkins Sierra Canyon (CA) G 6-0 USC
Mikaylah Williams Parkway (LA) G 6-0 LSU
Jada Williams La Jolla Country Day G 5-6 Arizona
Sahara Williams West (IA) W 5-10 Oklahoma

(SN)

Here is what ESPN had to say about Brooks being named a McDonald’s All-American.

Zoe Brooks, G

Signed with: NC State | 2023 ESPNW 100 ranking: 9
St. John Vianney HS (New Jersey)

Brooks is a gifted scorer who can flat out put the ball in the basket. Over the past 18 months, she has really gone to work on her conditioning and it brought her game to another level. She is a true three-level scorer. Defenses must be there on the close out, but containing Brooks is no easy feat as she attacks angles, changes speeds, and has the footwork and handle to counter. Her strength allows her to finish with contact at the rim and her touch provides an array of floaters and usage of the glass for buckets. Brooks sees the floor well and zips passes to teammates for open looks. Defensively, she has fantastic instincts and is good in passing lanes and in the press. Brooks is averaging 24 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game this season. (ESPN)

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Women’s Basketball: #20 NC State 71 Miami 61: Box Score & Highlights

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#20 NC State picked up a much needed win last night against Miami, defeating the Hurricanes 71-61 in PNC Arena, avoiding a 3-game skid.

Sophomore Guard Saniya Rivers led the pack with 14 points, 6 steals, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.

Seniors Camille Hobby and Mimi Collins both had 11 points.

Sophomore Guard Aziaha James had 10 points, and led the Pack with 6 rebounds.

The Wolfpack was without Jada Boyd and Jessica Timmons last night, and River Baldwin went down with an injury, and will have an MRI tomorrow.

NC State is now 14-5 overall, and 4-4 in ACC play, and will play at Louisville on Sunday at 1pm on ABC.

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Women’s Basketball: NC State Falls to #20 After Falling Twice Last Week

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The NC State Women’s Basketball team fell to #20 in the AP Poll after falling twice last week on the road, losing to FSU 72-91, and UNC 47-56. The Wolfpack have lost 3 of the last 4, and 4 of the last 6.

ACC Teams in the AP Poll

7. Notre Dame

12. Virginia Tech

13. Duke

17. UNC

20. NC State

30. Miami

30. Florida State

34. Louisville

The Wolfpack will host Miami on Thursday night at 6pm on ACC Network.

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