Jan. 19, 2014
NC State and Maryland, long-time ACC foes, will meet as conference opponents for the final time when the Terrapins comes PNC Arena Monday night at 9 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Maryland controlled the series until Mark Gottfried got to Raleigh. NC State's 79-74 win over Maryland in 2012 snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Terps. Last season's contest featured a basket by UM's Alex Len in the final second to lift Maryland 51-50 over the Pack. Each team owns an 11-7 overall record on the year.
NC State will attack Maryland with the ACC's leading scorer, 6-8 sophomore T.J. Warren. The Durham, N.C., native averages 22.2 points per game. He had 23 points and eight rebounds at Duke on Saturday. Maryland will counter with 6-5 athletic swingman Dez Wells. Wells, the MVP of the Paradise Jam, leads Maryland in scoring with 14.6 points per game.
Monday's contest is the start of three straight home games for NC State. After hosting Maryland, the Pack will take on Georgia Tech Sunday, Jan. 26. Florida State comes to PNC Wednesday, Jan. 29.
1. REALIGNMENT CASUALTY
Monday night's tilt between NC State and Maryland could potentially be the last meeting between the two long-time ACC schools. Maryland, like NC State, is a charter member of the ACC and is set to join the Big Ten Conference next season. The two schools have played on the hardwood 150 times entering Monday's contest. The most memorable meeting in the series was the 1974 ACC tourney final, when No. 1 NC State defeated No. 5 Maryland 103-100 in Greensboro. That win propelled the Wolfpack to its first national title.
2. GOTT's 50TH
Mark Gottfried and the Pack will celebrate the coach's 50th birthday when they host Maryland at PNC Arena on Monday night. Gottfried is 4-2 all-time on his birthday, including a 1-0 mark at NC State. Last year's 66-62 home win over Clemson was on his 49th birthday.
3. THE ACC'S BEST SCORER
The ACC's leading scorer is 6-8 sophomore wingman T.J. Warren, who is tied for seventh in the nation averaging 22.2 points per game. The 6-8 sophomore continues to show he is one of the more efficient scorers in all of college basketball, ranking fourth in the ACC with a .503 field goal percentage (minimum 5 FG made per game). His ACC-best .622 field goal percentage last season was the second-highest single-season shooting percentage in NC State history (.624, Kevin Thompson, 1991-92). The sophomore is the only player in the ACC with multiple 30-point performances, hitting the mark against Florida Gulf Coast (30), Eastern Kentucky (30) and ECU (32). Warren has scored 21 points or more in 14 of NC State's 18 games this season and has reached double figures in 20 of his last 22 games.
4. QUICK TURNAROUND
With this year's ACC schedule with 15 teams and 18 games, each school will have one stretch with just one day between a pair of games. This weekend is NC State's quick turnaround stretch, with Sunday being the only day between games at Duke and vs. Maryland. The Terrapins will have just one day between games in early March when they play at Clemson and vs. Virginia Tech.
5. NC STATE INSIDE THE ARC
NC State is first in the nation in two-point distribution, meaning no team in America scores a higher percentage of its points on made 2-point field goals than NC State. The Wolfpack scores 63.8 percent of its points on field goals made inside the arc. Further, NC State is fourth in the ACC with a .516 shooting percentage on its attempts from inside the arc. T.J. Warren shoot .573 on his attempts inside the arc.