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Joe Ovies

Talking points: NC State dominates early, snaps streak

Posted January 26, 2013
Updated January 27, 2013

1. NC State had the talent advantage, an incredible home-court atmosphere thanks to ESPN College Gameday bringing their circus tent to PNC Arena and something to prove following an ugly loss to Wake Forest. It wasn't a "must win" for the Wolfpack from any logical point of view, but they needed to get over what seemed like a permanent roadblock provided by North Carolina.

And that's exactly what they did Saturday night against the Tar Heels, even if the ending provided tense moments. NC State snapped a 13-game losing streak to North Carolina and bounced Roy Williams for only the second time since he took over the Tar Heels.

2. When NC State clicks, they're an exciting group to watch on the court. They flexed on North Carolina for nearly 30 minutes, beating the Tar Heels at their own transition game. North Carolina at N.C. State Inside the Rivalry: NCSU vs. UNC Basketball

Richard Howell and Calvin Leslie each finished with double-doubles. Leslie was particularly strong attacking the basket, neutralizing James Michael McAdoo early in the contest and later creating a viral sensation at the expense of Jackson Simmons. Scott Wood was 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, including a crucial 4-point play with 4:18 to go. Lorenzo Brown was a matchup nightmare, leading all scorers with 20 points and dished out 11 assists. TJ Warren came off the bench and provided 19 points on 9-of-12 shooting.

3. Let's get to the question everyone seems to pondering: "Why can't NC State play like that all the time?"

There's a little bit of  "Showtime Wolfpack" with this squad. NC State has no problems when the stage is large and the lights are bright, but that only leads to a handful of great moments. If the Wolfpack want to have a great season, they'll need to be just as engaged for the lower rungs of the ACC as they are for the big rivals. There is no reason why this team couldn't destroy Wake Forest or had to needlessly sweat out a victory against Clemson in the week leading up to their rivalry showdown with North Carolina.   North Carolina at N.C. State Inside the Rivalry: NCSU vs. UNC Basketball

The Wolfpack need to sweep the leg and show no mercy. Otherwise, they'll get caught napping and suddenly find themselves torched by a guy named Devin in the NCAA Tournament.

4. Williams described the game to the media as a "butt whipping" and thought any notion of a moral victory "was for babies." For the most part, he's absolutely correct. However, it's hard not to talk about the Tar Heels cutting a 28-point lead down to 5-points in the final minute. 

North Carolina scored 57 points in the second half and 52 in the last 13:22, forcing the otherwise rabid PNC Arena crowd to hold their collective breathe before they could enjoy the victory.

Williams is clearly tired of the inconsistent play in 20 minute chunks. The Heels have typically played better in the opening half and the focus wanes after the break. In previous games against teams with inefficient offenses, North Carolina was able to grind through their own mistakes. NC State had an offense that made them pay for those mistakes early on. The Wolfpack outscored North Carolina 20-0 in fast break points by halftime, which had to be mind-boggling for Williams.

5. At issue for North Carolina is Marcus Paige, who finished the game 2-of-11 from the field and +1 on the assist/turnover ratio. Frustrated with his production, Williams played Luke Davis for 6 minutes.

While NC State stepped up their defensive efforts, which produced a rare shot clock violation, plenty of UNC's issues were of their own doing. Reggie Bullock misfired early and Dexter Strickland took his share of questionable shots. PJ Hairston finally provided a spark after Williams dusted him off the bench, much to the confusion of North Carolina fans who wondered why Strickland continued to get minutes. 

6. NC State fans showed restraint and did not rush the court as the buzzer sounded. The large gust of wind you felt emanating from Edwards Mill Road was actually a massive amount of people exhaling in relief.

33 Comments

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  • Capitals Fan Jan 28, 1:08 p.m.

    I haven't posted about the game because I don't feel like I can talk junk to UNC when we can't even beat Wake Forest. With that said, you sure have some cry baby fans and are you guys really talking about t-shirts? T-shirts? Didn't your school make T-shirts for football for something that didn't even happen? Just shut it.

  • killerbear Jan 28, 10:10 a.m.

    It happens. Heck, Lowe had a win over Carolina -- and we know how that ended.

    I know it's hard to... View More

    — Posted by WeHaveSixBanners

    Wow, what a crybaby. We won, you should learn how to deal with it, because it could happen much more frequently. NBA, 19 of 21, unranked,....whah, wah, whaaaaah... Congrats, you were better in the past. Congrats to us, we're better now. You have no idea how pathetic you sound.

    Take your loss like a man whine master.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jan 28, 10:09 a.m.

    Surprised they made a t-shirt about the game. Wait till they win the ACC before ordering up t-shirts.

  • Toddler10-21 Jan 28, 9:45 a.m.

    Phantom I think when State beat UNC in Lowe's first year UNC was ranked in the top five. So Whats your point? Here goes the YOUNG excuse again. Also here goes the NBA bragging rights again. How many that bragg about the NBA actually watch It? Probably 1 out of 50. I guess no other UNC ex player has been talking smack during the streak? UNC fans I have talked to are still angry after one loss!!!! WOW!! Who wins every game? I will take 4-4 aganist UNC with the talent you guys put on the floor everyear compared to State.

  • bigfella Jan 28, 8:57 a.m.

    Finding it very funny that Julius Hodge is talking all this smack. He goes 4-4 during his time at State against Carolina then his illustrious 23 game NBA career comes to an end and he has to live vicariously through this team. Didn;t hear him running his mouth after the previous 13 games. Go back to the YMCA and play some more pick up games.

  • Packman24 Jan 28, 8:10 a.m.

    The big lead was likely to evaporate, a team gets that far ahead and they will substitute more... View More

    — Posted by PanthersFan45

    This team's not very deep so we can't expect them to run the entire game. Players are going to get tired, we just have to hold on and slow down at the end. A win is a win to me blowout or by 1. Go Pack!!!!

  • WeHaveSixBanners Jan 28, 8:06 a.m.

    It happens. Heck, Lowe had a win over Carolina -- and we know how that ended.

    I know it's hard to understand how a single 8 point victory against an opponent that has beaten you 19 of the last 21 times is a big deal.

    We don't know what that's like.

    Did you notice all the former NC State players in the crowd reliving their former glory while former UNC players do big things in the NBA?

    This is all they have.

    Yeah, we'll catch heat for "talking history" after a loss like this. But that's because a win over UNC would've actually been impressive 4-5 years ago.

    Beating a young, unranked Carolina team is something to celebrate for NC State. Let them have it.

    North Carolina is still the bar at which college basketball is set.

    And although they might not have rushed the court, they did make t-shirts celebrating the win. And that's worse. It's down-right pathetic.

    If I had a t-shirt commemorating every victory over NCSU I'd need another closet.

    The natural order of things will eventually be restored.

    http://gopack.cbscollegestore.com/store_contents.cfm?store_id=465&dept_id=19069&product_id=231570&partner_id=20084

  • PanthersFan45 Jan 28, 6:57 a.m.

    The big lead was likely to evaporate, a team gets that far ahead and they will substitute more and slow it down. The Heels hit some big 3's late and Roy used his time-outs well ........ just too much ground to make up.

  • bafans11 Jan 27, 8:52 p.m.

    ^ Even though NC lost...they didn't look unorganized and throwing up crazy out of control shots.

    You must not have seen the 6 airballs that the cheats put up in the first half.

  • paulqnn Jan 27, 8:25 p.m.

    At times I was thinking to myself, how did NCSU get such a big lead. NCSU seemed at least half of the time out of control and taking some wild shots. And my buddy is screaming slow it down and run some clock. At the 14 minute mark I said it is too early. Slowing it down now could possibly take them out of their rhythm. Did they have a rhythm, I don't know. State reminds me of some pickup games I used to watch on the playgrounds of my middle school. Looks like they never have an organized practice. They just throw out the ball and play freelance basketball. I was left asking myself like many....what are ya'll thinking. Even though NC lost...they didn't look unorganized and throwing up crazy out of control shots. Congrats to NCSU. I am glad they won. But they are going to have a hard time in March with all the inconsistent play and unorganized looking basketball.

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