Talking Points: Pack unable to keep up with Duke
Posted March 15
1. Duke and NC State put together a contest in stark contrast to Virginia's slugfest over Pittsburgh, but it was a pace the Wolfpack were unable to maintain in the second half.
NC State went into halftime hitting 16-of-24 from the field, but trailed by one point as the Blue Devils went 5-of-12 from 3-point range. The Wolfpack cooled off considerably out of the break and allowed Duke to widen the lead when they out-scored 19-10 during a crucial stretch. Eventually the Blue Devils started playing stall ball, but NC State couldn't get their offense going again.
The teams that have made 2nd-half runs against Duke (everyone) have done it in final 10 minutes. NC State has 1 FG in last 5 min. #fail— Stephen Wiseman (@stevewisemanNC) March 15, 2014
Jabari Parker will get a ton of attention for his performance, but Duke is really able to flex on their opponents when their other offensive threats get going. Rasheed Sulaimon pitched in 16 points. Quinn Cook and Rodney Hood each contributed 14, while combining for five from beyond the arc.
Duke shot 68.4% in the second half. Just too much firepower for NC State, who went for 66.7% in the first 20 minutes to converting only 35.5% of their shots to close out the game.
2. So yeah, about Parker. He celebrated his 19th birthday by dropping 20 points and giving the highlight makers a few plays to throw into the rotation.
When Jabari gets going like that it's like watching a combination of an eagle and a bear.— JD King (@DBRTweetz) March 15, 2014
I hereby declare Parker's nickname be "Beagle" from now on.
3. The ACC Tournament will experience a first for Sunday's championship game -- Duke and Virginia will face off for the title. The Blue Devils beat the Cavaliers at Cameron Indoor Stadium in their only meeting of the regular season. Duke is 15-3 against Virginia in tournament play.
4. Did T.J. Warren run out of steam playing his third game in as many days or did Duke do a good job limiting the reigning ACC Player of the Year? Let's go with a mixture of both.
Warren had a great first half with 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting. He was in typical form, finding ways to get to the rim through traffic. However, Warren's second half got off to a quiet start.
Duke ran Hood, Sulaimon, Tyler Thornton and Matt Jones on Warren early in the game. Hood eventually settled into Warren's main defender, despite having three fouls throughout the second half.
Totally mystified why Warren's not getting more shots. Don't see Duke doing anything special against him on D.— Jim Young (@RealJimYoung) March 15, 2014
The Blue Devils essentially forced Warren to give the ball up to his teammates, who didn't add the same level of punch from the previous wins over Miami and Syracuse. Cat Barber was effective early, but took only one shot in the second half. Ralston Turner's offensive production stalled.
At one point after Warren dove for a loose ball, he leaned against the scorer’s table with an exasperated look on his face and pounded the floor out frustration. That moment summed up the final 10 minutes for NC State.
5. NC State's possible inclusion in the NCAA Tournament will be hotly debated between now and when the selection committee unveils the bracket Sunday night. The Wolfpack's win over the Orange at least vaulted them into the discussion.