Wolfpack Heads to Chapel Hill on Saturday
NC State (12-8, 2-4 ACC) at North Carolina (14-5, 4-1 ACC)
NC State Travels to North Carolina: NC State will make the short drive down I-40, as the team travels to North Carolina on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Pack will be playing on the road for the second straight game, and is in the middle of a stretch of four of five ACC games away from Raleigh.
The Wolfpack (12-8, 2-4 ACC) fell at Clemson on Tuesday, 60-50, and is looking for the first ACC road win of the season.
The Tar Heels (14-5, 4-1 ACC) have won seven of their last eight games, and post a perfect 9-0 mark at home this season. On Wednesday, UNC won at Miami, 74-71, with a three-pointer in the final seconds.
This game will be televised on ESPN with Mike Patrick and Len Elmore.
Coaches Vs. Cancer: This weekend is the annual Coaches vs. Cancer “Suits and Sneakers” awareness weekend, and the NC State staff will once again be wearing sneakers to show support for the program. “Suits and Sneakers” will unite coaches from across the country in the common effort to raise cancer awareness in their communities.
The Series Versus North Carolina: Saturday’s meeting will mark the 218th between NC State and North Carolina in the series that dates back to the 1912-13 season. The Wolfpack has faced just Duke and Wake Forest more times than the Tar Heels.
UNC holds a 142-75 lead in the series and has won 18 of the last 23 meetings dating back to the 1999-00 season. UNC has won the last eight meetings between the teams and Sidney Lowe is 1-8 against the Tar Heels.
The Tar Heels hold the advantage in games played in Chapel Hill, 69-22. The last time the Pack won at UNC was in overtime in 2003 (75-67). The Pack also won the 2002 road matchup, the first time NC State won back-to-back years at UNC since 1973 and 1974.
Last Season Versus North Carolina: North Carolina won both contests last season.
At the RBC Center on January 26, NC State went over eight minutes without a point in the second half, as North Carolina came away with a 77-63 win. The Pack put together a 20-6 run wrapped around halftime, including a 10-1 spurt to open the second half, to capture a 43-38 lead with 17:04 left. The Pack then missed 17 of its next 18 shots, and UNC went on an 18-2 run to capture the lead for good. For the second straight game, NC State’s opponent shot over 50.0 percent from the field, as UNC shot 50.9 percent (29-57), including 57.7 percent (15-26) in the second half. Tracy Smith led the Pack with 20 points, while Javier Gonzalez had 19, including scoring 15 of NC State’s 18 points during one stretch.
At UNC on February 13, North Carolina used an 11-5 run to open the second half and never lost the lead en route to a 74-61 win. The Pack got within four points at the 6:18 mark, but the Tar Heels closed the game on an 18-9 run to end the game, including an 8-0 run after the Pack cut the lead to 56-52. Tracy Smith led the Pack with a game-high 20 points, and Javier Gonzalez hit three three-pointers and finished with 13 points.
Last Time Out for NC State: Clemson overcame a 19-point first half deficit, to defeat the visiting Wolfpack, 60-50, at Littlejohn Coliseum on Tuesday. NC State led the game 31-12 after the first 14 minutes of play, but scored just 19 points over the final 26 minutes of the game. In the second half, NC State scored just 16 points and shot 25.0 percent (6-24) from the field. Clemson closed the first half on a 17-3 run to cut the lead to 34-29 NC State at the half. The Tigers then scored 16 unanswered in the second half to take the lead for good at the 5:43 mark. Tracy Smith was the only Wolfpack player in double figures, as he finished with 13 points.
Great Starts, Leads Lost: NC State has jumped out to huge leads in each of its last two ACC games, but both times the Pack has let the opponent overcome those leads.
In the win against Miami, NC State started the game on a 12-2 run, and extended its lead to 17 points with 12:32 left. But Miami came back and captured its own lead with 1:04 left. The Pack came up with key stops late and pulled out a 72-70 win.
NC State did not have the same luck at Clemson, as the Tigers also came back from a large deficit and then came away with the win.
The Wolfpack started the game with a 31-12 lead, and had a 19-point lead at the 6:06 mark of the first half. But the Tigers closed the first half on a 17-3 run, and put together a 16-0 run in the second half to capture the lead for good at the 5:43 mark.
Freshman Ryan Harrow has started the last two games at point gurad. Junior C.J. Williams has made back-to-back starts at shooting guard, and sophomore Richard Howell was in the starting lineup at power forward for the first time since early December against Miami and Clemson.
Brown, Gonzalez Switch Roles: Over the last two games, a pair of NC State guards have taken on different roles.
Sophomore Lorenzo Brown started 17 of the first 18 games of the season at shooting guard. But now Brown is coming off the bench and serving as the Pack’s back-up at point guard. In those two games, Brown has averaged 9.5 points in 21.5 minutes. Prior to the last two games, he had averaged just 5.0 points in the five previous games.
Senior Javier Gonzalez started the first 16 games of the season at point guard, but has come off the bench in three of the last four. When coming off the bench, Gonzalez has been playing the back-up shooting guard position. Last time out at Clemson, Gonzalez scored five points in his 20 minutes.