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NC State

Test lies ahead for NC State

Posted January 29, 2013
Updated January 30, 2013

The Pack has downed rivals North Carolina and Duke, but its next four games will be its toughest test of the season.

NC State holds regular season wins over North Carolina and Duke for the first time in a nearly a decade. The shadow of a 13-game losing streak to the rival Tar Heels is officially lifted, with the Wolfpack bouncing back from the embarrassing loss at Wake Forest earlier in the week.

But the real test for this team starts on Tuesday and stretches over four games through the next two weeks – it’s the toughest stretch of games the Pack will play during the whole regular season.

Four teams in the league currently have winning records – the Pack will play the other three of them over the next two weeks starting with a trip to Virginia. Then its Miami at home, unbeaten in the ACC so far this season and on a tear after blowing out both Duke and Florida State at home this past week. After that? Just a visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Pack ends the stretch with its ‘easiest’ game on paper as it travels to Clemson, but the Tigers nearly upset the Pack in PNC earlier this season and State hasn’t won at Littlejohn Coliseum since Herb Sendek’s final year.

These are the games that turn a season one way or another. Wins against Duke and Carolina are great for a variety of reasons – team confidence, NCAA seeding, national publicity – but they were both won on the Pack’s home turf. Winning on the road is what will ultimately decide who walks away with the regular season title this year.

Miami sits at the top of the league because they’ve gone on the road three times and won. The Pack, Duke and Virginia are trailing the Hurricanes by two games in the standings because they can’t win on the road. Those three teams are a combined 2-6 on the road in league play, and Duke has yet to win a true road game this season after losses to the Pack and Miami. N.C. State Logo More NCSU Stories

Make no mistake, the potential for the first losing streak of the season comes in this series of games. Last season, the Pack had a similar stretch of games which started with the collapse at Cameron and spiraled into a four-game losing streak before the Pack managed to right the ship with a home win against Miami. Obviously this is a better and more experienced team, but it’s not immune from a repeat of last year’s losing streak. First up for the Pack is Virginia, possibly the most frustrating team in the league to play – especially for a team like Gottfried’s squad that will want to get out in transition. Simply put, Virginia will not let the Pack get out and run. They aren’t going to turn it over, they aren’t going to let guys leak out on missed shots – they will force the Pack to play a slow, physical game in the half court. The Pack has struggled some in slow-paced games this year, holding a 2-2 record in its four slowest games and the two wins were four-point victories over Connecticut and Clemson.

The Pack needs to find a way to lock down on defense, especially after giving up 50-plus points in the second half against both Wake Forest and the Heels. The offense, even on the road, has been good enough to beat anyone but the Pack’s propensity to give up easy buckets (teams are shooting 46 percent inside the arc this season) is making life too easy on the opposition. If the Pack minimizes the defense lapses and crashes the defensive boards with the same fervor they showed against the Heels, the Pack will become a much more dangerous road team.

The games against Miami, Duke and even Clemson aren’t any easier, but picking up a win in Charlottesville – especially considering the Pack’s history after wins over Duke and Carolina – would be a significant step forward for this team. Even splitting these four games would ultimately be a victory, though Miami’s recent play suggests that falling to 7-4 in the league might put them out of striking distance from the Hurricanes for the regular season title.

The good news is that if the Pack can survive this stretch the sailing gets a little easier in the final seven games of the regular season. Four of its final seven games are at home and none of them come against the current top four in the league standings.

20 Comments

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  • Kenan-FlaglerAlumni Jan 29, 2013

    It truly is sad when you have to celebrate a regular season basketball win at the level where you're making T-shirts. Some people celebrate national championships, others celebrate this :\

  • caearly009 Jan 29, 2013

    Something has got to give. The Pack remains one of the top-scoring offenses in the country and the level of defense the Cavs play makes it frustrating for just about any team they face to score. Even last year's game came down to the last possession or two.

    I think State will be happy to snag a road win however they can. Gooo Pack!

  • Mr. Middle of the Road Jan 29, 2013

    This is a time we need to stand up. We are the hunted now. I know UVa is favored tonight but beating them will go a long way in building our confidence that we deserve to be in the rarified air at the top of the conference. And, even bigger game Saturday with UM. Gooooo Pack!!!

  • swedish.chef Jan 29, 2013

    View quoted thread



    I haven't seen a lot of showboating from Purvis. What exactly were you thinking of?

    And while I agree that Warren can rack up higher numbers, there were several games where he was nowhere to be found. Literally nothing on the stat sheet. I think Warren's defense is his achilles heel as well, he often looks lost out there.

    That said, RP is a guard and Warren a SF, so there's no reason why they both can't play

  • ugottabkiddinme Jan 29, 2013

    View quoted thread

    state only proved they could handle a evenly matched unranked opponent at home...chapel hill will be a whole lot different

  • StunGunn Jan 29, 2013

    View quoted thread



    I heard that Leslie isn't feeling well and may be a game time decision. If he's out of the game or not feeling well while playing, it will be harder for State, not insurmountable, but harder.

  • laytonjlje Jan 29, 2013

    If mr. showboat Rodney Purvis plays less and mr. consistent T J Warren plays more,4-0 is not out of the question.

  • VT1994Hokie Jan 29, 2013

    UVA has the 2nd best defense in allowing points. This will not be an easy game for State at UVA. They make you play their game, and teams simply don't usually get their average points. I had State initially. It will be close.

  • iron fist Jan 29, 2013

    If the three ball is falling for Virginia they will be tough to beat at home. Duke wins, Miami wins FS toss up

  • Hans Jan 29, 2013

    View quoted thread



    http://gopack.cbscollegestore.com/store_contents.cfm?store_id=465&partner_id=20082&dept_id=19069&product_id=231570

    Obviously not.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
TEX 3
CLE 12
Final
COL 6
CIN 4
Final
MIA 2
PIT 5
Final
CWS 5
TOR 3
Final
KAN 2
NYY 4
Final
BOS 4
MIN 6
Final
PHI 0
NYM 7
Final
SEA 3
TAM 0
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
DET 3
OAK 2
Final
HOU 4
BAL 5
Final
WAS 3
CHC 0
Final
ARI 3
STL 4
7th
SDP 3
ANA 3
 
7th
ATL 1
LOS 1
 
1:05pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
7:05pm Monday
TOR
WAS
 
7:10pm Monday
CHC
MIA
 
7:10pm Monday
MIN
BOS
 
8:10pm Monday
BAL
HOU
 
8:10pm Monday
MIL
STL
 
8:40pm Monday
LOS
COL
 
9:40pm Monday
ATL
ARI
 
10:05pm Monday
TAM
ANA
 
10:10pm Monday
NYM
SDP
 
10:10pm Monday
NYY
SEA
 
10:15pm Monday
PIT
SFG
 
Final
HOU 90
GSW 104
 
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
Final
ANA 2
CHI 5
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR