This one could get ugly if the Wolfpack doesn’t bring its A game, which I think most people have figured out is some form of basketball that NC State played in the second half of the Marquette game. It could get ugly despite anything State does. FSU is coming off a loss to Maryland Sunday and is not happy about it — the Terps snapped the Noles’ seven-game winning streak.
The 25th-ranked Noles are scoring more points per games than NC State and giving up less, at least so far, and are 8-0 at home. They have a post defender in Solomon Alabi who can probably handle Tracy Smith on his own, allowing for more consistent defense on the other four Wolfpack on the court at any given time. One key for State will be trying to get Alabi in foul trouble. Ryan Reid is serviceable and could also defend Smith, but he’s no Alabi.
And for those who thought NC State blowing a to Virginia Saturday was bad, you might want to hide your eyes. Last time the Wolfpack faced FSU it was a similar story. The Wolfpack played well through much of the game and had a 63-59 lead with 6 minutes to go before going as cold as it’s been in NC the last few weeks, scoring just two points over the final six minutes and losing 78-65.
NC State has had success against FSU, winning 15 of the last 19 meetings. The Wolfpack has also managed to win six of the last seven meetings in Tallahassee. But I get the feeling tonight’s game could be different.
Backing the Pack has a more thorough breakdown of FSU’s starting lineup and bench.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Net. I’ve considered using Cover It Live during the game tonight. For those who are unfamiliar with that software, it’s basically a chat-style window that would be up on the blog where people could chat about the game as it happens. There is a score feature which keeps up with the game. If you guys would like the ability to do that and talk about the game as it happens, let me know.