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(14) Miami-Florida (16-3) at (19) NC State (16-5)



Saturday, February 2, 4 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Scott Haynes, College Basketball Senior Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: PNC Arena (18,639) -- Raleigh, North Carolina. Television: CBS. Home Record: Miami 9-0, NC State 12-0. Away Record: Miami 7-1, NC State 1-4. Neutral Record: Miami 0-2, NC State 3-1. Conference Record: Miami 7-0, NC State 5-3. Series Record: NC State leads, 9-4.

GAME NOTES: A top-25 showdown is on tap at PNC Arena on Saturday afternoon, as the 19th-ranked NC State Wolfpack play host to the 14th-ranked Miami Hurricanes in a key Atlantic Coast Conference showdown.

Jim Larranaga's Hurricanes are one of the real surprises not only in the ACC, but on the national level, as they are sporting a stellar 16-3 overall record. Things have only gotten better in ACC play, with Miami sitting atop the conference standings with a flawless 7-0 mark. Miami is the first ACC school with the exception of Duke and North Carolina to start the league slate out 7-0. Miami is 9-0 at home, but has taken care of business on the road as well at 7-1, including a 73-64 victory at Virginia Tech last time out.

Mark Gottfried's Wolfpack were considered by many to be the best team in the conference coming into the season. The Wolfpack have certainly shown flashes of that, with a 16-5 overall record. League play has been a little more testing, with NC State coming in at 5-3. All three of the team's league losses have come on the road, including a 58-55 setback at Virginia this week. The Wolfpack however, are a perfect 12-0 in Raleigh.

NC State holds a 9-4 edge in the all-time series with Miami and has won all six matchups in Raleigh.

The Hurricanes struggled to contain the nation's leading scorer, as Virginia Tech's Erick Green erupted for 30 points, but Miami held the rest of the Hokies in check and earned yet another road win in Blacksburg. Shane Larkin almost matched Green's output with a team-high 25 points for Miami, while Kenny Kadji and Trey McKinney Jones finished with 18 and 12 points, respectively.

It isn't explosive scoring that fuels the Miami attack, but rather stingy defense. The Hurricanes are among the nation's best in terms of scoring defense (58.4 ppg) and field-goal percentage defense (.371). Despite modest offensive numbers overall, there is balance at that end of the floor, with four of the five starters averaging double figures. Durand Scott leads the team with 13.8 ppg. He is followed by Kadji (13.3 ppg), Larkin (12.9 ppg), and McKinney Jones (10.2 ppg). The team was without the services of center Reggie Johnson for a while due to injury, but his return to the floor can only bolster Miami's play, as 6-foot-10 senior is averaging a near double-double (9.9 ppg, 9.2 rpg).

The Miami defense will be put to the test in Raleigh, as NC State boasts of one of the nation's most explosive attacks. The Wolfpack are averaging 78.6 ppg on an impressive .503 shooting, including .400 from 3-point range. The scoring pool is deep, with five players averaging double figures, led by C.J. Leslie's 15.6 ppg. Leslie's play in the frontcourt is bolstered by Richard Howell (12.7 ppg, 11.0 rpg), T.J. Warren (12.1 ppg) and Scott Wood (11.6 ppg, 54 3-pointers). All-American candidate Lorenzo Brown (12.7 ppg, 6.9 apg) handles the point and is joined in the backcourt by solid freshman Rodney Purvis (9.6 ppg).

As offensively talented as NC State is, the Wolfpack, like many other teams, struggled to find their rhythm against the Cavaliers last time out. NC State blew a seven-point halftime lead by shooting just .348 from the floor in the second half, while allowing Virginia to score 14 points off 14 turnovers. The loss spoiled strong outings by both Leslie and Howell, who notched double- doubles. Leslie finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Howell checked in with 12 points and 11 boards.

Running the table in the ACC is next to impossible and with this being the second straight road game for Miami, NC State has a real opportunity to tighten up the race heading down the stretch.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: NC State 67, Miami-Florida 62

02/02 10:51:59 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
Final
SAC 107
MIL 108
Final
GSW 114
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
POR
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
Final
UTST 57
CALST 56
 
1:30pm Today
YOUNG
WILB
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
JST
 
6:00pm Tonight
RAD
SIENA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
COOK
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
CASEWEST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
CPNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CLEM
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
CONC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
EKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWEBB
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
MDES
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NIAG
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NCAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAM
UNF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NORST
NARZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCSB
SDCHR
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GAELS
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
STILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
HAMP
TENST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMARY
WSHMD
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLGC
FUR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CALST
SDKST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MTST
CHAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
DICKINSON
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
LSUALEX
 
8:00pm Tonight
PRIN
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
MLGN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MINN
SEAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
SUTAH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
WINT
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NO
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
ALAAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
TTU
ARKPB
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
COLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
TXPA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
 
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
Final
SJS 4
EDM 3
Final
LOS 6
STL 4
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
BOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13