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Joe Ovies

Talking Points: Last in, first win for NC State

Posted March 19

1. Survive and advance is the name of the game, which is exactly what NC State did in Dayton, Ohio. The Wolfpack weathered early foul trouble for T.J. Warren and a Xavier rally to begin the second half before pulling away in a 74-59 victory over the Musketeers

Warren scored 16 of his game-high 25 points in the second half. As the ACC Player of the Year started to dominate, including a critical stretch where he scored 12 of NC State's 18 points after Xavier cut the lead down to two with just over 16 minutes to play, Warren appeared as though he was going to get whatever he wanted from anywhere on the court. 

Not only did the he Musketeers fizzle defensively, they got cold from the perimeter after NC State did a decent job taking back the paint with nine blocks. Xavier was 2-of-12 from beyond the arc.

2. Warren's 25 points marked the 18th consecutive game where the ACC Player of the Year has scored 20 or more. It's the 30th game of his career, which bested the previous school record of 29. Warren now holds NC State's all-time single-season scoring record with 843 points, surpassing David Thompson's 838 points.

Regardless of the Wolfpack's NCAA Tournament fate, Warren's sophomore season has to be appreciated by anyone who enjoys basketball.

3. With Warren's production practically a given, the success  or failure  of NC State depends on what the rest of the roster can provide.

The Wolfpack will always be in position to win as long as Ralston Turner chips in double-digit points. Tyler Lewis also did a great job stepping up as Cat Barber dealt with illness in the second half, dishing out great passes and making the offense efficient with only one turnover.

4. Xavier's Matt Stainbrook has become sort of a cult hero in college basketball circles. He certainly doesn't look like a typical player, with his rec specs and large frame, but Stainbrook got buckets. He gave Vandenberg trouble early in the contest and eventually finished with 19 points. 

5. As noted by Joe Giglio of the News & Observer, all three of NC State's NCAA Tournament wins under Mark Gottfried occurred in the state of Ohio.

Now the Wolfpack must overcome a quick turnaround from Dayton to Orlando, where they'll take on St. Louis on Thursday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

19 Comments

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  • 45HEELSFAN45 Mar 20, 10:31 p.m.

    Well Joe, you jinxed them. Ohio basketball has sucked today

  • rosemarymcdonald23 Mar 19, 9:07 p.m.

    Tar Heel fan here - so proud of the Pack! Definitely earned their spot in the tournament! Great game last night, keep it going!!!

  • vt94hokies Mar 19, 8:50 p.m.

    The second round is when we will see some major upsets.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Mar 19, 7:35 p.m.

    The 12 vs 5 matchup is the traditional upset. Go traditional WolfPack!

    — Posted by jmcdow2792

    From what I understand, the State-Saint Louis game is the one 12-5 upset that people are picking... View More

    — Posted by LuvsThePack

    Glad you feel that way. Makes me feel better. This team is a bunch of really nice kids who... View More

    — Posted by jmcdow2792

    From what I heard today, St. Louis started the season strong, but faded down the road, kind of like Syracuse. They play good D, but can't score. I believe State will win this game. Even great D can slow TJ down, but he won't be stopped. When teams pay so much attention to TJ, it opens up opportunities for other players, and those players have taken full advantage.

  • jmcdow2792 Mar 19, 5:24 p.m.

    The 12 vs 5 matchup is the traditional upset. Go traditional WolfPack!

    — Posted by jmcdow2792

    From what I understand, the State-Saint Louis game is the one 12-5 upset that people are picking... View More

    — Posted by LuvsThePack

    Glad you feel that way. Makes me feel better. This team is a bunch of really nice kids who deserve to win.

  • LuvsThePack Mar 19, 4:09 p.m.

    The 12 vs 5 matchup is the traditional upset. Go traditional WolfPack!

    — Posted by jmcdow2792

    From what I understand, the State-Saint Louis game is the one 12-5 upset that people are picking the most often.

    And I think they're also 2.5 favorites over the Pack. I like that. Makes State HUNGRY, and when they hungry, they EAT!

    Plus, this Saint Louis team is 1-3 in their last four games, only beating UMass by 2 points. They lost to VCU, Dayton, and St. Bonaventure. This bodes well for State's chances. That team is something like 26-6, so they were probably rewarded for a good season with the #5 seed.

    I can't help but think State SHOULD win this game. I feel better about it than I did about Xavier.

  • SaveEnergyMan Mar 19, 4:06 p.m.

    Can someone explain how if State is one of the last teams in, they were playing for the #12 seed... View More

    — Posted by 4tarheels

    The tournament is required to take all conference champions - regardless of how lousy they are. Many of small "never-heard-of them" conference champions fill in the bottom seeds 14-16. After the 32 automatic qualifiers are determined (that's conf champs), then 32 of the best teams left are put into the mix. NC State was the last at-large (non auto qualifiers) to be seeded. The committee felt they were 12 seed material, as would have been Xavier. They aren't the worst team in the mix, but they were the last picked from the at-large field.

  • jmcdow2792 Mar 19, 3:26 p.m.

    The 12 vs 5 matchup is the traditional upset. Go traditional WolfPack!

  • JPDOhio Mar 19, 3:17 p.m.

    "As noted by Joe Giglio of the News & Observer, all three of NC State's NCAA Tournament wins under Mark Gottfried occurred in the state of Ohio."....As happy as that fact makes me, I would love to see the Pack add Florida to the mix this weekend (twice).

  • lec02572 Mar 19, 1:51 p.m.

    State is no where near a 16th seed. If they had put them as a 16th seed a #1 seed could have possibly gone out in the first round. That's never happened and they want to make sure it doesn't happen.
    Congratulations on a great win. Win and advance. If the Pack beast St. Louis, Louisville is not a given winner in a game with the Pack right now.

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