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NC State gets familiar foe on first day of ACC women's tourney

Posted March 7, 2013

— Postseason basketball in the ACC gets underway Thursday as the women take to the court at Greensboro Coliseum. Seeds five through 12 all play on opening day, including No. 8 seed NC State at 2 p.m. against Clemson.

The Wolfpack (15-15, 7-1 ACC) swept the season series against the Tigers, posting a 16-point win at Clemson (9-20, 5-13) to close the regular season after winning by 34 points on their home court just three weeks earlier. Thursday will mark the second meeting in five days between the two teams.

"It's easier to prepare for it because the scouting report is done," NC State head coach Kellie Harper said. "There are not a whole lot of changes that we're going to make to our scouting report that we just had at Clemson.”

A season ago, NC State entered the tournament in a similar situation as the No. 9 seed and were able to make a run to the semifinals after knocking off top-seeded Duke. They also reached the title game in 2010 under Harper.

"I think our players do understand that the tournament is special,” Harper said. I feel like they're starting to get into business mode. I really think they're focused right now."

NC State is playing better basketball in the recent days as they snapped a three-game skid by winning two in a row by a combined 37 points to finish up their regular-season slate. Six different players have scored in double figures over the last three games.

"We have several different players that have been able to put points on the board, and I think when we're clicking, when we've got a couple different people making shots or finding ways to score, it makes us so much harder to guard," Harper said.

Junior, and Raleigh native, Markeisha Gatling has averaged 17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in the last two games, including a season-high 21 points last Thursday against Virginia.

Miami and Virginia Tech get things started in Greensboro on Thursday with the winner playing No. 4 Florida State, The NC State-Clemson winner will advance to play top-ranked Duke on Friday. That second-round game can be heard on 620 The Buzz at 2 p.m.

"We're going to do the same things we've done all year long, so our routine doesn't change a whole lot," said Harper.

Georgia Tech will take on Wake Forest in the 6 p.m. game and Virginia will play Boston College in the night cap with the winner moving on to play No. 3 North Carolina.

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