NC STATE BASKETBALL
Joe Giglio (N&O)
NC Stateâ€™s C.J. Leslie rolls with criticism
Go ahead and take your best shot at C.J. Leslie.
Find a message board thread to vent about the N.C. State forwardâ€™s inconsistencies or cut out the middle man and hammer him on Twitter. After three years, Leslie is not only used to the criticism, heâ€™s actually kind of OK with it.
â€œYou have to take the good along with the bad,â€ Leslie said Thursday. â€œIâ€™m well aware of that. I think I do a great job of taking that (criticism).â€
On the day before N.C. Stateâ€™s NCAA tournament game with Temple, Leslie offered up one of his most honest interviews. That he did so while sitting on the floor of the locker room â€“ and fiddling with his iPhone â€“ tucked in a corner behind a 5-foot white board, is also revealing of Leslieâ€™s personality.
He hid from the television cameras on Thursday but not from any of the questions about his junior season.
Leslie is looking for more honest and enjoyable moments in the NCAA tournament, one like his celebration from the bench when senior walk-on Jay Lewis made a 3-pointer at the end of the Wolfpackâ€™s home win over Wake Forest on March 6.
One like the roar he let out after a second-half basket in the Wolfpackâ€™s ACC tournament win over Virginia last Friday. The scream and double-clenched-fist release of emotion was a raw moment, and a rare one of unadulterated joy for Leslie this season.
He wants more of those in Dayton.
â€œIâ€™m just going to be me,â€ Leslie said. â€œI need to get back to more of that and not just relaxing and trying to let everybody find their way. I have to just go for it.â€
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
Gottfried, Wolfpack dare to dream as NCAA tournament run begins
Thirty years ago this month, Jim Valvano and his N.C. State Wolfpack pulled off one of the biggest surprises in NCAA tournament history by running the table to win the 1983 college basketball national championship.
It would take an upset of similar proportions for this yearâ€™s State team to even come close to producing a similar result out of its No. 8 seed in the NCAAâ€™s East Region. But that hasnâ€™t stopped current coach Mark Gottfried and his Wolfpack from dreaming, as they head into their tournament opener against ninth-seeded Temple on Friday in Dayton.
â€œIf you go back through the history of the tournament and different teams that have advanced, anybody can get there,â€ Gottfried said Friday before leaving for Ohio. â€œWe feel like weâ€™re a team that can. I think thatâ€™s what makes the tournament the greatest show on earth. Anybody can find their way there.â€
Gottfriedâ€™s Wolfpack (24-10) has proven its ability to play with and beat some of the best teams in the nation this season â€“ beating Duke and taking both Michigan and Miami to the wire before suffering close losses. The problem is that State has also shown that itâ€™s just as capable of losing to anyone.
Itâ€™s just a matter of which team decides to show up on a given night.
On the plus side, the â€œgoodâ€ Wolfpack has made far more appearances than the â€œbadâ€ over the past month and enters the postseason on a similar upward track to the one that upset higher seeds San Diego State and Georgetown to make last yearâ€™s Sweet 16.
That, however, is about the only similarity Gottfried is willing to concede between hit first two teams as Stateâ€™s coach.
Akula Wolf (backingthepack.com)
Temple Vs. NC State Preview: Terror Time Arrives
Fran Dunphy built an Ivy League power at Penn; the Quakers won nearly 80% of their conference games during his tenure. He moved to a different part of Philly in 2006 to take over a Temple program that had lost all momentum under John Chaney. Prior to his arrival, the Owls had missed the previous five NCAA tournaments, and while Dunphy’s first year was a struggle, he’s had the Owls in the NCAAs each year since.
The 2013 edition is not his best Temple team, but it definitely has some scary aspects to it. The one stat that immediately caught my eye is that turnover rate, because as has been well established by now, NC State’s defense ain’t so good at forcing miscues. Fortunately, this Temple team does not possess a lot of imposing size, and it hasn’t rebounded particularly well at the offensive end this season. If–if–NC State can control the defensive boards, it might could survive an above-average shooting performance by the Owls.
While the Owls are only shooting 33.4% from three this season, the worrisome thing is that 37.2% of their field goal attempts come from beyond the arc. Frequent three-point shooting + fluky-good accuracy = BALLER. No wait that’s not right.
Khalif Wyatt (6-4, 210) — As I mentioned earlier in the week, Wyatt is The Guy; his workload is considerably higher than anybody else on the team. It’s also much higher than it was in either of the last two seasons, which seems to have hurt his shooting accuracy. He hit more than half his twos and more than 37% of his threes in both 2011 and 2012, and those numbers are both down this year. But he is still a dangerous scorer from any position on the floor, and his assist and steal rates are good to boot.
Pack Focused on Its Goal to #OustTheOwls
NC State is returning to the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row, and the 24th appearance in school history. The Pack was selected as the eighth seed in the East Region, and will be traveling to Dayton, Ohio, to face ninth-seeded Temple on Friday. Game time is 1:40 p.m. on TBS.
Last season, the Pack earned its first NCAA bid since the 2005-06 season. NC State was the 11th seed, but knocked off San Diego State (79-65) and Georgetown (66-63) before falling to eventual runner-up Kansas (60-57) in the Sweet 16.
Pack as the 8th Seed: NC State has never entered the NCAA Tournament as the eighth seed.
Pack Versus the 9th Seed: NC State has never faced the ninth seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Pack in First Round (Now Second Round) Action: Technically the Packâ€™s first game in the 2013 NCAA Tournament will be in the second round, but in the Packâ€™s previous trips to the Big Dance, NC State has found success in its opening game. NC State enters 12-5 in what was formerly the first round, now the second round.
In fact, the Pack has failed to win a NCAA Tournament game only once in its last eight trips.
Gottfried in the NCAA Tournament: Head coach Mark Gottfried is making his second appearance in the NCAA Tournament as head coach of the Pack, and his ninth trip overall as a head coach.
Last season, Gottfried became the 11th coach in ACC history to reach the NCAA Tournament in his first season. He is now only the third coach in ACC history to take both of his first two squads to the â€˜Big Danceâ€™, joining Bill Guthridge (1998, 99) and Roy Williams (2004, 05).
In his first stop as a head coach at Murray State, Gottfried took the Racers to the NCAA Tournament in each of his final two seasons. At Alabama, Gottfried went to five straight NCAA Championships (2002-06), advancing as far as the Elite Eight in 2004.
NCAA Tournament Experience: Last season, no players on the Wolfpack roster had NCAA Tournament experience. This season will be different, as four of the Packâ€™s current starters also started all three games in last yearâ€™s run to the Sweet 16.
C.J. Leslie (15.7 ppg), Lorenzo Brown (13.0), Scott Wood (12.0), and Richard Howell (11.7) all averaged double figures and at least 29.0 minutes in the three games last season.
Rounding out the Packâ€™s 2012-13 seven-man rotation is a trio of freshmen who obviously have never competed in the tournament.
NC State Staff Knows NCAA Tournament: All three Pack assistant coaches have NCAA Tournament experience, combining for 23 NCAA Tournaments entering this season.
Associate head coach Bobby Lutz started his NCAA postseason experience with back-to-back NCAA appearances as an assistant coach at Charlotte in 1997 and 1998. Lutz was then promoted to head coach for the 49ers, and led them to five NCAA appearances in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005.
Orlando Early has now been an assistant coach at four different schools that made a combined eight NCAA Tournaments appearances. Early was part of the Western Carolina squad that won the Southern Conference and advanced to the 1996 NCAA Tournament. Then, he was an assistant under Lutz at Charlotte in 1999 and 2001. Early joined Mark Gottfriedâ€™s staff at Alabama in 2001, and was an assistant coach for four seasons, reaching the NCAA all four years.
Rob Moxleyâ€™s NCAA postseason experience came as an assistant at Charlotte under Lutz in 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005.
The Series Versus Temple: Fridayâ€™s matchup between NC State and Temple will the eighth meeting in a series that dates back to 1950-51.
NC State leads the series 6-1, having won the first six meetings. The most recent match-ups have been a home-and-home, with each team winning on its home court, NC State 80-61 in 2002 and Temple 76-54 in 2003.
GAMEDAY: NC State Ready for Tournament Showdown with Temple
Today at 1:40pm NC State will face off against the Temple Owls in the first round (technically 2nd round) of the NCAA tournament, but this isnâ€™t just another game for the guys in red. This one has a different feel to it.
For one, you have four guys in the starting lineup who likely arenâ€™t coming back next season. Howell and Wood are seniors and Brown and Leslie are likely to bolt to the NBA. These are guys know this is their last go-round and I think you can expect them to really play with that sense of urgency theyâ€™ve lacked at times this season.
You also have the momentum build from an unlikely source. Jim Valvano. The late, great Wolfpack coach who orchestrated one of the most unlikely NCAA Championship runs of all time in 1983 is still motivating and inspiring. Just last week, ESPN (with the help of Derrick Whittenberg) unveiled a 30 for 30 called â€œSurvive and Advanceâ€ telling that story with so much detail and so much emotion. I know for a fact that nearly every Wolfpack player was tuned in and excited about what they saw. The documentary did what Coach Gottfried has been feverously attempting to do for two season. To make these kids understand what theyâ€™re representing. This isnâ€™t just about their NBA careers, or what people are writing on Twitter today, or about the here and now. This is about tradition, history, family. Itâ€™s the fact that they arenâ€™t in this alone. They are part of something so much bigger. Theyâ€™re carrying on the tradition of a program that has defied the odds and did things they were never supposed to do. Itâ€™s an understatement to say this team believes. NC State is ready to do something special this March, and it all starts today against Temple.
SCOUTING REPORT: Who is Temple, and how can NC State beat them?
What NC State Must Do:
Defense. You saw it in the ACC Tournament. When this team gets down in a stance and commits themselves to defending, theyâ€™re hard to beat. Remember, if it wasnâ€™t for that early drought against Miami, they may have been playing on Sunday (State beat them 42-40 in the second half). But itâ€™s not just defense. Theyâ€™ll need to play well on offense too. They need Brown to get going in this game. Heâ€™s been off offensively all season, but he stepped it up last year in the tournament and hopefully he will do it again.
As for Leslie, I think you can expect a big tournament out of him if heâ€™s focused. As you remember from last year, Calvin was able to get rolling during Stateâ€™s run and a big part of that was confidence in his post game. Face it, in the ACC the refs have seen Leslieâ€™s moves 1000 times and they for some reason rarely give him contact fouls in the paint. If you put a fresh pair of eyes and some refs with no history with Calvin and youâ€™ve got a different game. Expect him to get to the line A LOT in the tournament.
Iâ€™m not sure what Gottfried will do against a team like Temple. They are smaller and have two guards who can attack and create. We saw what happens when a team has two guards who are humming against Miami. This means we might see more Purvis in this matchup and I sure hope so, because we could have used him early on against Miami.
Overall, if NC State can lock down on defense, play physical, and play with passion for 40 minutes I think they have the players to move on to the next round. If they think theyâ€™re going to just cruise past Temple and look forward to the Indiana game, then they might be on a plane back to Raleigh quicker than expected.
Andy Reid (TheWolfpacker.com)
NC State gears up for Temple
Thirty years ago, in this very tournament, Jim Valvano and North Carolina State made history, riding a swell of emotion and momentum to one of the most memorable championship runs in the history of the NCAA Tournament.
Coach Mark Gottfried, now in his second season, and the Wolfpack had their own special run last year, overcoming a late-season four-game losing streak to earn an at-large bid to the Big Dance, where they upset San Diego State and Georgetown to make their first Sweet 16 since 2005.
Although NC State failed to make the field in the five seasons leading up to his hire, Gottfried is no longer satisfied to simply make the tournament.
The Wolfpack, pegged as the No. 6 team in the country in both the Associated Press and USA Today coaches’ preseason polls, finished 24-10 overall and 11-7 in the ACC.
After visions of conference titles and high seeds in the NCAA Tournament, the Wolfpack entered the field of 68 as an eight seed – with a potential matchup against No. 1 seed Indiana in the round of 32.
But Gottfried and company are looking at this as an opportunity for validation of this year’s squad.
“The expectation rose really high [after last year], and that’s nothing we’re ever going to shy away from,” Gottfried said. “Hey, that’s where we were picked, and we didn’t meet that this year, didn’t meet it.
“And our guys have a lot of pride. I think they’ve done some amazing things in two years, but this year needs to be its own year, and they know that. Every team is different. This team is different than last year in a lot of ways. It’s been different from the first day we got together, and I think they can draw on the experience, the veteran players, but they have to make their own history, this group.
“This is your time for this particular team … These guys need to create their own mark, their own history, their memories from this particular team.”
Q&A: Temple’s Fran Dunphy, players talk Pack
Q: Coach, what’s the status right now of Anthony Lee? Has he been cleared to play? If not, what’s your contingency plan?
Dunphy: He looks pretty good right now. He practiced a little bit yesterday. We’ll do a little bit more today, and doctors are hopeful.
Q: Khalif just said a couple of different times that he feels like he and the team have something to prove because the last couple Marches haven’t gone maybe the way you guys expected. Do you feel that way too?
Dunphy: Two Marches ago, we had a good win against Penn State, and I thought we played very well against San Diego State. Had our chances to win that game, and we lost it in double overtime.
Last year we played well defensively in the first half and just couldn’t score in the second half. I thought South Florida was a very, very good basketball team at that point.
Are we disappointed that we didn’t do better? Yeah, certainly. I think that’s always the case. We’re thrilled that we’re here, but we have to do better.
Q. I was wondering, in preparing for NC State, if there was anybody who kind of jumped out at you?
Dunphy: I wish there was one person that we could concentrate our efforts on, but as we talked about as a team, Brown has an extraordinary number of assists and very few turnovers to go with that. That’s really some good basketball playing. So that’s great leadership from that position.
Wood is just ridiculous when it comes to making 3s. I’ve watched any number of tapes, and he just makes every open look that he gets. So now you’re trying to make sure you don’t leave him open. And if you do that, you’re probably compromising your defense a little bit, and somebody else like Howell can be open inside.
All that aside, their leading scorer, C.J. Leslie, has a ton of ways to score. The kid Warren is playing well. The guys off the bench are doing a good job.
There’s no one specific area that we can concentrate on, and that’s what makes them so dangerous.
Q: Fran, is anybody in your league comparable to NC State?
Dunphy: I didn’t think about it too much, to be honest with you. Out of the 15 other teams in our league, there’s got to be somebody out there who we played against that is very similar to NC State.
And the best teams in our league are in this tournament, so you know you’re going to get a similar attack from these guys, and they’re going to be relentless in the way they approach our game tomorrow.
You might look at a St. Louis who is – you might say that C.J. Leslie and the kid Evans at St. Louis are similar. They’re just warriors out there. They’re good. They know how to score, and they know how to get points. They just compete on every possession. So there’s some of those similarities.
The kid Wood is really unique in how he needs no time and no space. There’s a couple of guys on St. Louis who are like that as well. So there’s probably some similarities, although I haven’t sat there and documented those, to be honest with you.
Q. If Lee can’t play, how are you planning to defend Howell and Leslie? Are you planning for him to play or not play when you do your game preparation?
Dunphy: We’re planning on Anthony playing. How much, I don’t know. He hasn’t played. He hasn’t run that much over the last week. So there’s a question there.
But we’ll play small if we have to and just compete and battle as best we can. But Jake will give us the requisite minutes we need. If we need Devontae Watson, we’ll use him as well. It’s hard to predict how long Anthony is going to go and how much he’ll give to you.
Q: Khalif, you guys have been here so many times, and you’ve struggled in the first round except for one game. What’s going to be different about this time? Have you guys even talked about the difference maybe in this year compared to years past?
Khalif Wyatt: No, we really haven’t talked about the past. We try to keep that behind us. We’ve got a different group of guys. We’ve got some real experienced guys and some guys who are real hungry to prove themselves on the national level.
We’ve got a little chip on our shoulder this year. We want to prove that we can belong here and that we can make a run at this thing.
Andy Reid (TheWolfpacker.com)
Temple concerned about NC State’s balance, size
Mid-February is not the time to find yourself at .500 in conference play, especially if you have aspirations of playing in the NCAA Tournament.
But that’s exactly where the Temple Owls were after a miserable Feb. 14 home loss to Duquesne, 84-83. It was last-place Duquesne’s lone Atlantic 10 win on the year, and it pushed the Owls to 16-8 overall, 5-5 in the A-10 without much of a hope for a postseason push.
Faced with such a devastating setback, Temple had two options: fight or flounder. The Owls picked the former and finished the regular season on seven-game win streak, including an impressive 84-76 win over No. 5 seed Virginia Commonwealth, March 10.
Despite a first-round loss to Massachusetts in the A-10 Tournament, Temple bounced back enough to garner an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. As a No. 9 seed, the Owls will take on N.C. State in the second round, Friday afternoon.
“We’ve been a resilient group,” Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. “We’ve been a little bit inconsistent over the year, but we’ve been a resilient team. Not only from game to game but from possession to possession, we’ve made some mistakes on one end of the floor and gotten back and taken care of business on the other end.
“Offensively, we’ve been a little bit better as the year wore on. I think defensively, we still have some room to move here. The concern I have for this game is how good the balance not only from top to bottom of N.C. State’s lineup is but also the inside and outside piece to their game.”
The Wolfpack’s balance is going to be hard for the Owls to handle, according to Dunphy.
Mandy Mitchell (WRALSportsfan.com)
Pack Questions answered
How is Richard Howell?
Howell had a thigh bruise from being kneed in the same spot multiple times while at the ACC tournament. He was walking with a visible limp in Greensboro. I asked Howell today how he was feeling. He said he’s “ok” and said it was getting better. He didn’t look to have any problems with it at practice.
There are a couple of notes I found interesting while talking to the guys. Rodney Purvis told me he didn’t really understand how hard it was to get into the tournament until Selection Sunday. “My boy Dez Wells (from Maryland) isn’t here,” he said. That should make Purvis even more motivated to play well this week. Understanding what a challenge it is to make the NCAA tournament is important.
Aaron Schoonmaker (WRALSportsfan.com)
NC State’s focus centers on one
In a game of five-on-five, North Carolina State will be concerned with stopping one when they open up NCAA tournament play Friday against Temple (1:40 p.m. TBS / 99.9 FM The Fan).
The Owls have one player that started all 32 games this season. He leads the team in field goals made and attempted, three-pointers made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, points, assists and is second in steals. For those unfamiliar with Temple (23-9, 11-5 Atlantic 10), the Owls rise and fall on the play of senior guard Khalif Wyatt goes â€“ and he also happens to wear No. 1.
â€œI think we know that they have a very good guard that we have to be aware of,â€ said NC State forward Calvin Leslie. â€œWe know he likes to get it and go, and he’s capable of making big time plays. We have to be aware of him at all times on the court.â€
Wyatt averages 19.8 points per game to lead the A-10 and has led the team in scoring in 20 of 32 games. He has five 30-plus point games this year and has scored in double figures in 18 consecutive contests. Tasked to stop Wyatt will be Lorenzo Brown who has 65 steals and 19 blocked shots in 32 games (one every 13 minutes of court time).
â€œHe’s one of the craftiest guys I’ve seen this year,â€ Brown said. â€œMy main goal when guarding him is to keep him out of the paint. I know he can shoot pretty well, but once he gets in the paint, he can draw a foul or dish the ball to any of his players, and they’re pretty good shooters. If I can do that, it would help our team out.â€
Mark Thomas (WRALSportsfan.com)
An NC State run can be found in the numbers
No player is more important to the Wolfpack this season than point guard Lorenzo Brown. With him out of the lineup the Pack picked up two of their 10 losses – a third if you count the limited minutes against Virginia. Brown is as healthy as he has been all year. He has to stay in control of the offense and let the game come to him. In the seven full games that were losses, Brown averaged 4.5 turnovers verses 3.5 in the wins. When the Pack wins with Brown in the lineup he shoots 44 percent from the field, but in the losses he struggles shooting just 32 percent. Gottfried likes to see Brown take his man to the paint early to get an easier shot and see one go in. It gets his mindset right and his offense tends to take off from there.
There hasnâ€™t been a steadier player this season for NC State that Richard Howell. He was rewarded with a first team ALL-ACC selection. The big stat for Howell is no secret to fans: he has to move his feet on defense and be smart with fouls. It was an emphasis for him going into the season, and Gottfried feels that his success this year can be attributed to that. Of the 10 losses this year Howell has fouled out of four of them. But for Howell, it wonâ€™t be as much picking up No. 5 as staying out of foul trouble throughout. In games in which Howell has picked up his 3rd foul before the half, the Pack is 3-6.
Joseph Santoliquito (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)
A Look At Temple-North Carolina State
Summary: If weâ€™re talking about enigmatic teams, North Carolina State blows Temple out of the water in that department. The Wolfpack began the season as ACC favorites and were miserable flops. Theyâ€™re a talented team, featuring the trio of C.J. Leslie, Lorenzo Brown and Richard Howell. But like Temple, one time they look strong, the next theyâ€™re not the same team that they were a minute ago.
They can scoreâ€”N.C. State is one of the most potent offenses in the country. They canâ€™t defend. Or donâ€™t want to. It may depend on the moment with this team.
Temple needs to be smart with the ball and take better shots. If the Owls can play a hint of defense they have a chance. Anthony Lee, whoâ€™s scheduled to play, will be crucial to Templeâ€™s success in keeping the 6-foot-9 Leslie and 6-8 Howard off the glass.
Prediction: Temple will not go down quietlyâ€”haunted by the putrid showing against South Florida in last yearâ€™s first-round ouster. Hereâ€™s leaning toward Templeâ€™s senior leadership of A-10 Player of the Year Khalif Wyatt, Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson and Scottie Randall. They wonâ€™t let that happen. Temple wins 68-65.
T.J. Brennan – Correspondent (bleacherreport.com)
NC State vs. Temple: Game Time, TV Schedule, Spread Info and Predictions
Betting Line: NC State -4.5
Matchup to Watch: Temple guard Khalif Wyatt vs. Wolfpack guard Lorenzo Brown
This matchup is going to be an exciting one to watch.
Senior guard Khalif Wyatt led Temple this season with 19.8 points and 4.1 assists per game. Both led the team. Junior guard Lorenzo Brown is a do-it-all guard, recording 12.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game.
Their battle will determine the outcome of the game.
Brown is tough defensively, coming up with 2.0 steals per game. Wyatt is no slouch either, recording 1.7 steals per game.
But to the otherâ€™s enjoyment, both are turnover prone, each averaging over three per game. Whichever guard is able to take care of the ball more consistently will come out on the winning side.
Key Player for Temple: Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson (8.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.5 APG)
With leading rebounder Anthony Lee questionable for the game, it will be Rahlir Hollis-Jeffersonâ€™s job to pick up the slack. Heâ€™s second on the team in rebounding, but will need to step his game up for the Owls to win.
He does the little things that gives a team a chance. At 6â€™6â€ and 215 pounds, it may be difficult to box out Wolfpack senior forward Richard Howell (6â€™8â€ 257 pounds). Hollis-Jefferson, however, impacts games with his work ethic. He can hurt an opponent in so many ways.
Stat to Watch: Rebounding Margin
If the Owls are able to keep the margin close, theyâ€™ll have a great shot at winning this contest. If NC State is able to dominate the boards, it will be a long day for Temple.
NC State pulls down 36.8 rebounds per game, which is good for 78th in the country. The Owls record 34.5 per game, which puts them at 178th in the country. Remember though, Owls’ leading rebounder Lee is questionable for the game.
Prediction: NC State 78, Temple 70
If Templeâ€™s Lee was playing in this one, it may be a different story. NC State is too big and too physical for the Owls to handle.
Preparing to #OustTheOwls
Coach Mark Gottfried and the Wolfpack stepped onto the court at University of Dayton Arena for the first time Thursday afternoon. GoPack.com takes you inside the Pack’s open practice and media session.
Andy Reid (TheWolfpacker.com)
Highlights: NC State’s NCAA Tourney practice
NC State took the floor Thursday for an open practice before Friday’s round-two matchup with Temple.
Gottfried: Worries about Temple’s Wyatt
Guarding Kalif Wyatt and getting a good performance from Calvin Leslie are tops on the list for NC State coach Mark Gottfried Friday in Dayton.
Howell: We need to come with defensive intensity
NC State forward Richard Howell said that a key to game against Temple will be maintaining defensive intensity and turning that into offense.
Lauren Brownlow (accsports.com)
ACC NCAA Preview, March 22
No. 8 N.C. State (24-10) vs. No. 9 Temple (23-9) (Dayton, OH)
Time: 1:40 p.m.
Announcers: Jim Nantz (play by play), Clark Kellogg (color), Tracy Wolfson (sideline)
This is Templeâ€™s sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and 31st overall. N.C. State leads the series with Temple 6-1, but lost the last meeting at Temple in 2003. And that game wasnâ€™t particularly close: Temple won 76-54.
How They Got Here
Temple had wins over Syracuse, VCU, St. Louis and Villanova. So even a few bad late-season losses (home to Duquesne and to Massachusetts in the A-10 Tournament) wouldnâ€™t have been enough to keep the Owls out. But that didnâ€™t stop their head coach Fran Dunphy from trying to convince his team otherwise on Selection Sunday.
The Owls donâ€™t turn it over. Like, at all. They rank ninth in the country in turnover percentage (just 16.2%). They also share the ball well, registering assists on 59.1% of their made field goals. Temple also hits 72.5% of its free throws, which is 71st nationally. And Temple is very experienced, ranking 10th in Ken Pomâ€™s rankings in that area (an average of 2.39 years).
Templeâ€™s defense is rather meh. Itâ€™s 124th nationally, which is not awful, but itâ€™s also had some bad luck. Teams are hitting 35.5% of their threeâ€™s against Temple and 72.4% of their foul shots. Thatâ€™s â€¦ high. The Owls also donâ€™t hit a high percentage of threeâ€™s (33.4%) even though they take a lot (37.2% of their attempts are threeâ€™s, which is 61st-most in the country).
Plenty of famous athletes in this group, like former NFLers Raheem Brock (and Dan and Joe Klecko), or even former NBA guys like Marc Jackson, Lavoy Allen and Rick Brunson. Even NBA referee Steve Javie went there. Thereâ€™s writer/director Richard Brooks, Bill Cosby, Bob Saget, Paul F. Tompkins and Tom Sizemore. Musicians are strong as well: Diplo (and if you donâ€™t know who that is, now you do), Jill Scott, Irving Berlin, and of course Jimmy Pop, the lead singer of The Bloodhound Gang.
But the most important? Hall and Oates. This is arguably where they learned the art of music video-making: poofy 80â€™s hair, closeups of intense stares and sexy saxophone solos. And also, there is a panther in this video. Tremendous.
And of course the one who is the most important to many of you, Danny Woodburn, aka Mickey from Seinfeld.
In 1882, Temple founder Dr. Russell Conwell came to Pennsylvania to lead the Grace Baptist Church and began tutoring working class people late at night (because of their schedules) in the basement of the church (known as the Baptist Temple). These students were dubbed â€œthe night owlsâ€ (which is where the mascot comes from).
Hooter has a birthday celebration each year, which seems a bit self-indulgent. But the weirdness of this is why mascots frighten people. And by â€œpeopleâ€, I mean small children. And me. WHAT IS THAT PURPLE THING? And the Dunkin Donuts coffee cup threw coffee into the stands?!
And one Hooter the mascot was brave enough to get a technical foul (and an ejection) during a game in 2002. While Jon Chaney was still the head coach. As you might imagine, Chaney was not pleased.
Khalif Wyatt ends 31.3% of Templeâ€™s possessions and has an ORtg of 107.4. He draws 6.3 fouls per game and has a true shooting percentage of 56.5% (though his eFG% is 49.1%, largely because he shoots just 32.6% from three). â€¦ Wyatt doesnâ€™t have Templeâ€™s highest ORtg, though. Thatâ€™s T.J. DiLeo, who uses just 44.5% of Templeâ€™s minutes but has a 120.1 ORtg (7th nationally). â€¦ Anthony Lee is tenth nationally in defensive rebounding percentage (26.2%).
So Closeâ€¦Yet So Far Away
PNC Arena and the Liacouras Center are 408 miles apart (about a six and a half hour drive). The halfway point is Dunbrooke, Virginia, an unincorporated community in Essex County (in the town of Tappahannock). The closest Dennyâ€™s is just far enough to irk Jim Boeheim: 27 miles. But hey, that Dennyâ€™s is right by Kingâ€™s Dominion! So thereâ€™s that.
N.C. State Win: The Wolfpack is so dangerous look out now look out Indiana because Indiana is vulnerable and the Wolfpack is coming together at the right time and it has flipped the switch in the postseason!
N.C. State Loss:
N.C. State, 85-79.
N.C. State has no defense. Neither does Temple. ALL OF THE POINTS! N.C. State will score more points.
ACC M5: 03.21.13 Edition
EXTRA: I donâ€™t like to do this, but this article is worthy of some ridicule. Iâ€™m hoping itâ€™s a subtle trolling of Triangle teams from Triad-based Yes Weekly, but Brian Clareyâ€™s piece is cringe-worthy. First he insults NC State fans: â€œThe NC State University Wolfpack acts as an outlier in this equation, generating a solid coalition of fans but not nearly the degree of passion evoked by the Tobacco Road rivalry.â€ That has to be sarcastic trolling, right? Then he goes after Duke with buzzwords of â€œelitismâ€, â€œprivilegeâ€, and â€œfavoritismâ€ before closing metaphorically by likening the university (and its basketball team) to a â€œtrust-fund baby.â€ Finally, he touches on North Carolinaâ€™s recent academic scandal before launching into actual coverage of the ACC Tournament. Bravo?
Jeff Borzello | Recruiting Blogger (CBSSports.com)
NCAA tournament viewing guide for Friday
Albany vs. Duke, 12:15 p.m. ET (CBS), Philadelphia — Will we see the Blue Devils lose to a No. 15 seed for the second year in a row? It’s doubtful, but congrats to the Great Danes on going from a No. 4 seed in the America East tourney to an NCAA bid.
Temple vs. N.C. State , 1:40 p.m. ET (TBS), Dayton — Khalif Wyatt is going to get his on the offensive end, but he will have to be efficient against NC State. Meanwhile, which NC State shows up? If the Wolfpack are to win, they need to bring it defensively.
Pacific vs. Miami, 2:10 p.m. ET (TNT), Austin — Bob Thomason didn’t want to end his career in the Big West tourney, so the Pacific head coach has at least one game. Miami could use a solid game from Reggie Johnson to get his confidence back.
Cincinnati vs. Creighton, 2:45 p.m. ET (CBS), Philadelphia â€“ Two completely different teams go at it. Cincinnati will try to grind it out and rely on its defense, while Creighton looks to outscore teams. Whichever team wins the tempo battle could get the win.
Colorado vs. Illinois, 4:40 p.m. ET (TNT), Austin â€“ A popular 10-over-7 upset pick, a lot will depend on what Illinois gets from Brandon Paul. If he goes off, the Illini will win. Colorado can counter with several weapons, namely Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker.
Villanova vs. North Carolina, 7:20 p.m. ET (TNT), Kansas City â€“ Both teams play with only one true big man, so the individual matchups in this one could be fun. Look for the freshman point guard showdown between Marcus Paige and Ryan Arcidiacono to be a factor.
Oklahoma vs. San Diego State , 9:20 p.m. ET (TBS), Philadelphia â€“ The Mountain West really struggled on Thursday, going 1-3, so San Diego State will look to regain some respect for the league. Oklahoma was going the wrong direction down the stretch.
Iowa State vs. Notre Dame, 9:45 p.m. ET (CBS), Dayton â€“ This one should be fun. Notre Dame has the size edge down low, but Iowa State will look to bring Jack Cooley away from the basket. On the other side, the Cyclones need to knock down their 3-pointers.
Minnesota vs. UCLA, 9:57 p.m. ET (TruTV), Austin â€“ Does the loser of this one last until the end of the month? Shoot, does the winner? Both Ben Howland and Tubby Smith are fighting for their coaching lives, and both are facing issues: Minnesota has lost 11 of its last 16, while UCLA lost second-leading scorer Jordan Adams.
WOMEN’S NC STATE BASKETBALL
Mike Potter (N&O)
Wolfpack late run downs Spiders in NIT
It didnâ€™t have to be pretty.
It just had to be a win.
And over the last four minutes of Thursday nightâ€™s first-round WNIT game against Richmond at Reynolds Coliseum, N.C. State got it done.
The Wolfpack went on a run at just the right time, using a team effort to shake off the Spiders down the stretch in a 60-55 victory.
The win allowed N.C. State (17-16) to advance to a second-round game Sunday at 2 p.m. at James Madison (23-10), which came back to beat visiting N.C. A&T 77-64 on Thursday night.
Richmond, which had beaten the Wolfpack 72-58 in Raleigh last season, finished 16-16.
Markeisha Gatling led the Wolfpack with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Kody Burke chipped in 12 points and nine rebounds.
â€œWhere do you start?â€ said N.C. State coach Kellie Harper, whose team is assured at least a .500 season. â€œWe knew this was going to be a tough matchup. Theyâ€™re a solid basketball team. And Iâ€™m really, really proud of our team down the stretch. When we had to make a play, we made a play.
â€œWe made our free throws down the stretch. Iâ€™m proud of our team finding a way to finish that game.â€
Markeisha Gatling had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Kody Burke added 12 points and nine boards in leading NC State to a 60-55 win over Richmond in the first round of the Postseason Women’s NIT.
NC State (17-16) will play at James Madison on Sunday at 2 p.m., in Harrisonburg, Va., in the second round of the WNIT. The Dukes won 77-62 over North Carolina A&T in other first-round action.
“Coming into this game we knew it would be a tough matchup, given their style of basketball,” said NC State head coach Kellie Harper. “They’re a solid basketball team. I’m really proud of our team down the stretch when we had to make a play, we made one on defense and on offense. We made our free throws down the stretch, so I’m really proud of our team finding a way to get it done.”