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Joe Ovies

Talking points: Pack & Heels back to the grind

Posted January 30, 2013

1. Appropriate that the first talking point will be about something that has happened once for NC State since the 1992-93 season: Winning their next ACC game after beating either Duke or North Carolina. The record now stands at 1-14.

That little factoid will be passed around as proof the Wolfpack treat contests against the Blue Devils and Tar Heels as Super Bowls. They're too hungover from all the celebrating to focus on the next one. Maybe that's the case, or maybe there's a little something more to it than a convenient story line.

A quick scan of ACC conference records makes it painfully obvious NC State just hasn't been a very good program in the last 20 years. The Wolfpack failed to notch more than six wins in league play until Herb Sendek's "breakthrough" 9-7 season in 2001-02. Even during that stretch of trips to the NCAA Tournament, they laid an egg with a 7-9 conference record in-between a pair of rare double-digit win totals. 

Then came the Sidney Lowe experiment. The results? 25-55 in the ACC.

So when it appears NC State can't seem to string together wins following contests against Duke and North Carolina, the vast majority of the time they couldn't string much of anything together. 

2. That being said, the Wolfpack were in position to beat Virginia in Charlottesville without their MVP on the court. It's hard enough to run a desired offense against the Cavaliers and it was even harder after Lorenzo Brown was sidelined with an ankle injury.

His absence impacted NC State's empty possessions down the stretch with a chance to take the lead. The Wolfpack had no field goals in the final four minutes of the game. Throw in 14 turnovers, half of which were committed by an ailing Calvin Leslie, and that's a recipe for defeat against Virginia's methodical tempo.

3. Tony Bennett isn't all that concerned with what taste-makers believe is quality basketball and it's paying off for Virginia this season. They haven't allowed an ACC opponent to crack 60 points and the Cavaliers are now positioned at 5-2 in the conference. 

4. North Carolina's win over Boston College became less about the result and more about the status of PJ Hairston following a mid-air collision with Dexter Strickland. In a frightening scene, replays showed Strickland’s elbow striking Hairston’s head before he fell to the floor.

Hairston was examined on the court, unable to stand on his own and eventually taken to the locker room on a stretcher. He tweeted after the game, "thanks to everyone for the support, I'm okay just a very very bad headache…."

5. Hairston's concussion will table the ongoing debate about his minutes until he's full cleared to return. In the 12 minutes he logged against Boston College, Hairston came off the bench and hit all four attempts from beyond the arc. That offensive spark helped the Tar Heels get out to a 15-point lead over the Eagles at the break. 

Strickland continues to draw negative attention from the fans, who will undoubtedly focus on the turnovers and 4-of-10 shooting.

6. Considering road wins in the ACC are at a premium this season and the year has been filled with odd results, North Carolina will take it.

21 Comments

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  • rherring23 Jan 30, 9:43 p.m.

    State should have won those games, but everybody talks like they lost to bad teams. WF hasn't... View More

    — Posted by rherring23

    No, I think Maryland does have 1 home loss in conference. Both UVa and Maryland are probably tournement teams with a combined record of 30-10 so far and nobody has beat WF at home yet. Exereybody talkjs about how weak the ACC is, right now you have 5 tournement teams and could be as high as 7 if UNC and FSU finish strong. I don't think a lot of those teams in the other power conferences would do any better than the ACC teams if they were in the conference. You put Indiana, Michigan, Florida, etc in the ACC, chances are that they would have more loses at this point in the season. The other conferences might have more ranked teams, but the AP loves the BigEast and Big10. When the tournement rolls around a lot of the time the ACC has the last team standing between those conferences. The ACC is still the toughest over'll conference and the teams beat up on each other so they don't have as many ranked teams, but it makes them better when tournement time comes.

  • rherring23 Jan 30, 9:28 p.m.

    State should have won those games, but everybody talks like they lost to bad teams. WF hasn't lost at home yet, not sure if UVa has and Maryland when playing good can beat about anybody at home. Any team in the country could go down on the road against these teams. Combined home records 36-4, ACC home records 11-0.

  • rherring23 Jan 30, 9:14 p.m.

    dey players suck, dey fans suck, dey dumps deys be playin suck, dey coaches suck, dey schools suck

    — Posted by mojridingrb

    And you write like a totally uneducated id*ot. I'm sure they would be so disappointed that somebody like you thinks they suk. Your posts are the stup*dest that I have ever seen and it really doesn't suk any more that that.

  • zonk Jan 30, 4:53 p.m.

    If you have a truly good team home or away should not matter. State and Carolina are just not very good and have way too many weaknesses. The only difference is everyone knew Carolina was going to be down this year. Not sure about State

  • iron fist Jan 30, 4:36 p.m.

    dey players suck, dey fans suck, dey dumps deys be playin suck, dey coaches suck, dey schools suck

    — Posted by mojridingrb

    Use spelling and grammar check before posting

  • Hokies94 Jan 30, 3:15 p.m.

    State has shown they are a really good team at home. The ACC is tough for visiting teams in most cases. Miami has been the only team to win and move on. Losing Brown hurt their chances last night, plus the fact they didn't hit a FG in the last 4 minutes. UNC losing Hairston will hurt them too. Hairston was beginning to shoot the ball well recently. I'm sure Roy was happy with last night's win.

  • mojridingrb Jan 30, 2:15 p.m.

    dey players suck, dey fans suck, dey dumps deys be playin suck, dey coaches suck, dey schools suck

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jan 30, 1:40 p.m.

    So what we're witnessing is that this team has NOT arrived, same old State. - 4tarheels

    This is definitely NOT the same old State. Here's what's different this year. 1)The overall... View More

    — Posted by ycbs

    A basketball team that has ONLY 6 reliable players is definitely not a very good team!

    — Posted by trueblue0100

    They can be a very good team with 6 players scoring in double digits, just not a deep team. Brown is probably the hardest player to replace. I've seen State win when one or two of their players are having "off" nights. It remains to be seen whether State is a very good team.

  • FilPhord Jan 30, 11:35 a.m.

    THE PACK IS BACK!!!! WOOO!

  • j5hunterwolf Jan 30, 11:30 a.m.

    ^^83 miracle run, I think he means.

    — Posted by 4tarheels

    Yeah I know, I just found it funny that someone trying to make such a fact heavy argument didn't have the correct facts. Would be even better if poster was a tar heel fan.

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