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NC State (20-12) vs. (11) Syracuse (27-4)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Friday, March 14, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Greensboro Coliseum (23,500) -- Greensboro, North Carolina. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: NC State 13-6, Syracuse 16-2. Away Record: NC State 6-6, Syracuse 8-2. Neutral Record: NC State 1-0, Syracuse 3-0. Conference Record: NC State 9-9, Syracuse 14-4. Series Record: Syracuse leads, 5-1.

GAME NOTES: The 11th-ranked Syracuse Orange make their debut in the ACC Tournament on Friday, as they take on the seventh-seeded NC State Wolfpack in quarterfinal action at Greensboro Coliseum.

The winner of this game will take on either Duke or Clemson in Saturday's semifinals.

One of four teams that earned double-byes into the quarterfinals, Jim Boeheim's squad earned the second seed in this event. The Orange were the top team in the country for a few weeks, getting off to the best start in school history at 25-0. However, the team faltered down the stretch with four losses in the last six games to finish 14-4 in its first season in the ACC, two games behind league champion Virginia.

Mark Gottfried's Wolfpack needed back-to-back wins to close out the regular season just to finish at .500 in the ACC (9-9). NC State used that momentum and the benefit of a first-round bye to knock off the defending ACC champion Miami Hurricanes in Thursday's second round, 67-58.

These two teams met a the Carrier Dome on Feb. 15 in a memorable matchup that Syracuse won in the waning moments, 56-55. Syracuse has won five of the six all-time meetings with NC State.

Scoring wasn't a problem for the Wolfpack this season at 71.2 ppg on .458 shooting (fifth in the league in both categories, thanks in large part to the explosiveness of ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren. The 6-8 youngster finished the regular season fourth nationally at 24.8 ppg. Unfortunately, there wasn't much offensive depth behind Warren, with Ralston Turner having the only other double-digit average at 10.0 ppg.

It was a tight game late, but NC State was able to create some distance from the Hurricanes and earn the nine-point win on Thursday. Warren was right on his average, going 9-of-18 from the floor to finish with a game-high 24 points. Turner had a huge game as well, hitting five 3-pointers, en route to 22 points.

Marquee victories over the likes of Villanova, North Carolina and Duke certainly justify Syracuse's standing as one of the favorites coming into this postseason. Syracuse's defensive reputation carried over from the Big East to the ACC, as the Orange dominated for the most part at that end of the floor, limiting foes to just 59.3 ppg, on .411 shooting. The team also played very disciplined basketball, averaging just 9.0 turnovers per game and boasting of a +4.5 turnover margin. Balance has been the key, with four of the team's five starters making significant contributions. First-Team All-ACC honoree C.J. Fair leads the way with 16.9 ppg, getting help along the frontcourt from Jerami Grant (12.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg). The backcourt tandem of sniper Trevor Cooney (12.5 ppg) and playmaker Tyler Ennis (12.4 ppg, 5.5 apg) is equally productive.

Warren is the conference's top weapon, but a lack of supporting cast and the fact that the Wolfpack will be hampered offensively by a rested Syracuse squad, should end NC State's run.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Syracuse 66, NC State 60

03/14 10:28:29 ET

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NCCU 45
 
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CHA 86
 
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4th
MEM 103
LAC 78
 
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SILL 67
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MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
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DREX 61
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CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
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LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
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USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
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NMU 51
TEXAM 64
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STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
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FAIR 80
SD 72
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EMICH 79
LONG 48
 
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ND 74
PROV 75
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CATAWBA 52
 
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COPST 54
 
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UAB 58
JST 50
 
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WICHS 105
NWM 57
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OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
 
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
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MON 75
TOWS 79
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
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CIN 54
EILL 49
 
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UGA 74
FATL 61
 
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BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
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LATU 76
PBY 48
 
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RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
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SAMF 64
UMKC 55
 
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NAVY 70
BING 68
 
2nd
SHU 85
GWEBB 67
 
Final
UNT 58
IONA 78
 
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KENT 86
MNTST 28
 
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FORD 57
MLOWELL 64
 
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UCF 76
USCU 69
 
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SCAR 52
AKR 55
 
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DEL 28
 
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HOOD 17
 
Half
OSU 52
SHU 27
 
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TENST 20
 
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2nd
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MON 0
 
1st
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HOU 13
CIN 22
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ATL 24
CLE 26
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IND 23
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CHI 21
TAM 13
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PHI 43
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