March 3, 2014
NC State will visit Pittsburgh for the first time since 1971 when the Wolfpack takes on Pitt Monday night at 9 p.m. on ESPNU. It is the season's second meeting between the two schools, who faced off at PNC Arena on Jan. 4.
Pittsburgh, which is led by Lamar Patterson's 17.2 points per game, enters the game having won two straight after a three-game losing streak. Like NC State, Pitt is also coming off a quick turnaround. The Panthers played at Notre Dame on Saturday, escaping with an 85-81 overtime win.
NC State and the ACC's leading scorer T.J. Warren (23.6 ppg) are battling to finish with a .500 record in ACC play. The Wolfpack has dropped two straight, including an 85-84 overtime duel with No. 19 North Carolina.
Following Monday's contest, NC State will host Boston College in the regular season finale. BC comes to Raleigh Sunday, March 9 at 6 p.m.
The Starting 5 - The Top 5 Storylines For This Game
1. THE TOP SCORER IN THE TOP CONFERENCES
T.J. Warren is the ACC's leading scorer with 23.6 points per game and is the top scorer among all players in the Power 5 conferences. He leads the ACC in both 20-point games (24) and 30-point outings (7). Warren poured in a career-high 36 points against North Carolina. Warren, who has reached double figures in 30 of his last 32 games, is also first in the ACC with a .520 field goal percentage (minimum 5 FG made per game). He is on pace to become just the third player in ACC history to lead the conference in both scoring and field goal percentage (Horace Grant, Tim Duncan). Warren is also among the ACC's leaders in rebounds (8th), offensive rebounds (1st), minutes played (8th) and steals (4th).
2. TYLER SERVES IT UP
Tyler Lewis is on pace to set the single-season school record for assist-to-turnover ratio. Lewis is currently averaging an ACC-best 3.96 assists to every turnover, which is also good for third in the nation. The previous school record is 3.35, set by Sidney Lowe during the 1982-83 season. The sophomore from Statesville, N.C., has 36 assists against just four turnovers over the last six games. Over the last five games, Lewis has dished 29 assists with only two miscues.
3. WOLFPACK PLAYED SOME OF THE TOP TEAMS EVEN
NC State has been competitive against some top competition. Realistically, NC State is four possessions away from being 21-8 with four wins against the RPI's top 50. One-point losses to Wake Forest and North Carolina ended with last-second shots and NC State had free throws to take the lead late against Missouri. A controversial foul call in the final seconds at Syracuse also resulted in a one-point loss.
4. SOPHOMORIC BEHAVIOR
T.J. Warren is in rare company. He has 662 points this season, the third-most in NC State history for a sophomore. He needs just one more point to equal Rodney Monroe's sophomore season of 1988-89. His scoring average is on pace for second all-time for a sophomore, behind only David Thompson's 24.7 mark in 1972-73.
5. THE SERIES VS. PITTSBURGH
NC State is 9-2 all-time against Pittsburgh, and will be making its first trip there since 1971. Pitt won that game 89-75, but the Wolfpack won the next five meetings. The highlight of the series was a 100-72 NC State victory in Raleigh during the 1974 NCAA Tournament that allowed NCSU to advance to the Final Four. Every other meeting between the two schools has been at NC State or on a neutral floor.