A Collapse Narrowly Averted

One made field goal in the last 10:35 will ensure a dramatic finish, even when nursing a 15 point lead in a low-scoring game. Fortunately, Cam and Gavin kept State alive to get to the 2nd OT, where Miami ran out of gas. Despite blowing the big lead, it was great to win a close road game against a good conference opponent.

Can anyone who has the “U” tell us how it LOOKED, as opposed to how it sounded?

Fun nugget – watching SportsCenter before the game, David Thompson made ESPN’s all-time best dunkers’ list at #5. Ahead of him were Vince Carter, Dominique Wilkins, Michael Jordan, and one other guy whose name escapes me.

UPDATE: Dr. J was #2 on the dunking list. How could I forget him?

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

General NCS Basketball

78 Responses to A Collapse Narrowly Averted

  1. newswolf 02/08/2006 at 9:24 PM #

    amazing. 19-4. 8-2

  2. Slader4881 02/08/2006 at 9:50 PM #

    If someone told me 19-4, 8-2 before the season I would’ve called them crazy. It has been ugly getting here but I will take it. Maybe these collapses will teach us some lessons for later in the season. Or maybe we will be in for another Vandy like shot to the head.

  3. Slader4881 02/08/2006 at 10:05 PM #


    I figured you might like to read this Jeff. It is an interesting look at SOS.

  4. JeremyHyatt 02/08/2006 at 10:12 PM #

    I tuned in at the beginning of the first overtime, on the “U”. It was very closely resembling the Clemson 2-overtime game, where they kept it even, and then went in for the kill in the 2nd overtime. Gavin Grant hit a midrange jumper in the beginning of the first overtime to (I think) tie the score. This is the type of contribution we need from him and need him to bring in the Tournment(s), … to be successful that is.

    Before seeing it was overtime, I saw State up by 11 at halftime , and up 5 with 1:53; this told me it was in the bag, kinda, but i did not know who had possession. At the start of the overtime I was concerned, but then I remembered that we have experience that knows how to get it done in these situations, much like Duke. Go Pack!

  5. David Sanders 02/08/2006 at 10:14 PM #

    I have the U; made my place kind of popular tonight. Miami seemed to pick their poison early on, sagging in to try to keep Simmons from beating them and also zoning to take away back door opportunities. This plan backfired when the Pack were crazy hot from 3. And these were pretty much all wide open 3’s, within the offense. After Miami was bombed out of their zone, they showed why Haith had them in a zone. They can’t guard us in the half court man-to-man, and we kept getting wide open looks from 3 and making most of them. We were on pace to score about as many points in regulation as we ended up scoring in two overtimes with about 11 minutes to go. I’m not sure what happened. I don’t think we were tired. I don’t think Miami suddenly got a bit of pride about themselves and dug in. I really think we employed some sort of Mike O’Cain prevent you from winning defense, um, except it was our offense. It was like the Justin Gainey days; we’d run 33 seconds off the shot clock and then force up a horrid shot. We took the air out of the ball WAY too soon, and it did almost prevent us from winning. I really thought Miami was going to quit like BC did against us, but we didn’t let them.

    But I am self-proclaimed president of the Herb Sendek club, so I don’t mean for any of my comments to sound negative. 19-4 and 8-2. I’ll take that every year. The really promising thing about tonight was that, unlike against UVA and Maryland, we could get a good shot whenever we felt like it. We dominated the game; we just inexplicably got away from the game plan that was allowing us to do it.

    What a fun team and great year this has been. Now we just need a win over UNC and a prolonged run in the NCAA tourney to send this terrific senior class out right. And I think we’ll get both.

  6. VaWolf82 02/08/2006 at 10:21 PM #

    I really think we employed some sort of Mike O’Cain prevent you from winning defense, um, except it was our offense.

    Ouch….those memories hurt.

  7. PACDADDY 02/08/2006 at 10:30 PM #

    ^^..that’s an interesting link. I’ve been saying this for a long time. We need to quit playing the god awful teams and play just bad teams…seriously…If I were on a committee and OOC SOS were the topic, I’d pay more attention to who the teams played, the actual rankings of that team, where the game was played, the circumstances surrounding the game(injuries, how the team was playing at time)

    The human element and common sense should far outweight a computer program that has no feeling for a teams mental toughness, current productivity, all the intangibles that actually make for a fair assessment of where a team has been and where it is heading. Computer program shoud help a person keep a seson in perspective as a whole, but weight very little on a seeding selection.

    Look at Tenn…they beat a Texas team that was missing a key starter and the point guard left the game early to injury…how can a computer factor that in? Who else have they beaten that’s worth a crap?

    GW…any Bid 12 team…any Pac 10 team…the list is long.

  8. VaWolf82 02/08/2006 at 10:39 PM #

    Relax PD. While I dislike the insane number of cupcakes that State plays, Lunardi appears to be full of crap. I showed in “A Warning About Cupcakes” that State has not been harmed in the past by its cupcake schedule.


  9. PACDADDY 02/08/2006 at 10:53 PM #

    ^ I read that after I posted here…good stuff…it appears the selection committee uses their brain a little more than we give them credit for.

    BTW…I appreciate the time you take to put this info together…I might give you a hard time, but it’s appreciated and well done.

  10. wxwolf 02/08/2006 at 11:15 PM #

    I was at the game tonight. We went into the “prevent” offense about 3 minutes too early, as we started to play the first 25 seconds of the shot clock between the top of the key and midcourt right around the 8 minute mark in regulation. I felt like that totally took us out of our game, and our defensive intensity suffered during that period as well. I also think the fact that we played so passively down the stretch cost us opportunities at the foul line, since more fouls were called in the 2nd half. If we’d driven the basket more often we would have gone to the line more.

    The first overtime was simply a continuation of regulation, but something happened after the 1st OT, like someone flipped a switch. The Pack came out and played like they did early in the game on offense, much more agressive in moving toward the basket. I’m honestly surprised we won, because Miami had all the momentum and the home crowd after forcing OT. Big kudos on the win, even though I hope we take some lessons from losing the big lead.

  11. Packbackers 02/08/2006 at 11:38 PM #

    Congrats to the “Cardiac Pack”! 19-4…who’d have thunk it? Now all we need to do is finish 4-2 or better with a win over the Tarholes to lock up the second seed in the ACC Tourney. Sure would be nice to get another shot at Duke that Sunday, huh?

  12. TVP 02/09/2006 at 12:00 AM #

    A win is a win.

    Boy I was pissed after regulation though. I was most upset with the lineup we went with. I think Herb has done a great job this year but I think we made numerous coaching mistakes tonight:
    1) Not playing Brackman more in the second half/OTs. He dominated for a stretch of a few minutes in the second half.
    2) Somewhat related, countering Miami’s 4 guard lineup with a lineup of atsur/bethel/bennerman/grant/evtimov. This crippled us from a defensive/rebounding perspective, and IMO was a key factor in the comeback.
    3) As already adressed, playing keep away a little too early.

    Still, this team is showing a remarkable ability to recover, on the road no less, after allowing teams to come back on them. I think overall you have to be encouraged that this will pay off at tournament time.

  13. JeremyHyatt 02/09/2006 at 12:20 AM #

    do we see a trend of not being able to play to their potential for 40 whole minutes? how many games have we seen a lackadaisacal first half, and then doing enough, just enough, in intensity to pull out the win. tonite was vice versa in terms of halves. this is not a complaint but rather constructive criticism/devil’s advocate. As Coach Sendek says, the ACC is tough, but can we for once play relentlessly for 40 minutes like Seton Hall did to us a couple weeks ago? Same Sendek, different day… but different team? There’s a certain threshold that we need to pass through that makes us a round of 32, round of 16, to round of 8. I think our inability to capitalize places us between 32|16 rather than between 16|8. If we are a top 15 team we should be handling 50+ rpi teams decisively.

  14. BJD95 02/09/2006 at 12:22 AM #

    ^ I tend to agree with that assessment. Can Sendek get this team to the next level?

  15. TVP 02/09/2006 at 12:41 AM #

    ^yep, which is why the tournament results will really define this team. Regardless of what happens, we are going to have a very good season – 25 or more total wins (barring a total collapse); likely 2nd in the ACC and with a high tournament seed.

    However, for this team to be truly memorable, we need to either win the ACC tournament or make a deep (elite 8 or better) NCAA run. Everything seems to be lined up for us – a strong, veteran team in a generally weak ACC and NCAA. Can we get it done?

  16. JSIMON 02/09/2006 at 12:48 AM #

    Man, 19-4 and 8-2 in the league not much to complain about there. A couple of things that I thought were really positive down the stretch were:
    1/ Free-throw shooting. That sealed the game for us.
    2/ When our three’s weren’t falling anymore and we needed baskets Grant and Bennerman were there. They either scored on aggressive drives to the basket or they got fouled. I’ve noticed that a lot of times in the closing minutes of the last parts of these games we’ve looked to “invert” the defense and post up Bennerman. That play at the end of the UVa game also comes to mind. It was good to see Grant put two relatively solid performances together back-to-back after struggling for a while. He did have a bad TO at the end of regulation (which led to a Miami basket that cut the lead to one point) but his defense was key when they went to that four-guard line-up.

    When Brackman was on the floor he was having a hard time keeping anyone in front of him (not necessarily his faulting him — remember Miami is a real athletic team and was playing four guards). And to say it hurt not having him on the floor (for rebounding) is kind of silly. The guy’s averaged 4.0 rebounds a game for the season and didn’t have a single one tonight in 18 minutes. It’s one of the real mysteries of the season to me.


  17. JSIMON 02/09/2006 at 12:49 AM #

    Screwed up my own URL — http://www.simonsayshoops.com

  18. class of '74 02/09/2006 at 6:31 AM #

    You look at the last four games and then you look at our record, and then comes the question- How? How does a team look so good record wise and have performances like the last four? Either we are the best bad team in the country or we are one of the worst great teams? The most baffling thing I think I’ve ever seen. A true Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde not just from game to game but half to half.

    Is it method or madness?

  19. Waxhaw 02/09/2006 at 7:32 AM #

    Just wanted to say that we are 1-0 on the U! FSU is our other ESPNU game this year.

    As much as I’d like to win convincingly, we just beat the 3rd place team in the ACC, on the road, playing one of our worst halfs all year in the second half.

    Also, the first 5-6 minutes of that game we looked awesome. I was at a sports bar in Atlanta and people were shaking their heads. I want to see this team put together about 30 minutes like that!

  20. Mr. O 02/09/2006 at 8:12 AM #

    I thought we played really well last night even with the comeback.

    I thought it was interesting that we didn’t take a 3 pointer in the final 8:05 nor until the 2 minute mark of the first overtime. In the final 8 minutes and 10 minutes of over time, we only attempted 3 three point shots. We were 1 for 3 in the overtimes, but didn’t take a single 3 pointer in the final 8 minutes of regulation. During the final 8 minutes of regulation, we gave up an 11 point lead.

    Miami did start to play better defense, but I thought it was interesting that we seemed to go away from what got us the lead. Part of that could be that Miami took that away from us.

    I can’t see any reason to be unhappy with a double overtime game on the road. These types of games are part of the learning process for March. IMO, having to face this kind of adversity will do more for us than if we had just cakewalked through the final 8 minutes of the game.

    I would give Miami credit for playing to come back from 15 points down. This is how they performed once we got the our first 15 point lead:

    FTs – 11/12
    FGs – 9/12

  21. Mr. O 02/09/2006 at 8:13 AM #

    Waxhaw: Which sports bar were you at in Atlanta?

  22. Mr. O 02/09/2006 at 8:39 AM #

    And for the folks that didn’t get to see the game, there were times where we looked incredible out there. The passing and execution of the offense was very impressive in the stretch that got us the 15 point lead. We were firing on all cylinders. Then everything changed…part of that was probably a lack of aggression on offense(as I noted we didn’t take a three pointer in the last eight minutes), but Miami definitely started to play better defense. We didn’t get the same type of looks and we were running the same offensive sets that got us the lead.

    Despite the comeback, I left the sports bar last night feeling great about the way we played. It is all about building for March(to me at least), so we are sitting at 19-4 and 8-2 with IMO a lot of upside potential for this team.

    Is the Iowa game the only really bad game we have played on the road all year? Maybe UNC also?

  23. choppack 02/09/2006 at 8:43 AM #

    “As Coach Sendek says, the ACC is tough, but can we for once play relentlessly for 40 minutes like Seton Hall did to us a couple weeks ago?”

    Well, we did that vs. BC and GW. I thought we were going to do it tonight – but we went into a funk and Miami had that foul-shot parade for that 6 minute stretch.

    I can’t decide whether we are turning it “on” when needed or if we are just getting some returned good breaks that we didn’t for Sendek’s first 9 years. I’d be lying if I said that after these last four “w”s I was 100% pleased w/ our effort as it related to being a “great” team. However, in case you haven’t noticed, Duke was lucky to win it’s last 2 games and WVa seems to win every other game by 1 or 2 points. OTOH, Notre Dame seems to lose every game like that. I know which side of those results I’d rather be on.

  24. Fred 02/09/2006 at 8:57 AM #

    Do these people not watch any other college basketball games? Look around the country at what happens to teams. Florida losing at home to USC. BC with narrow escapes at VT and WF. Iowa losing to Northwestern. Duke blowing a 17 point second half lead. These are college kids. This has always been the way college basketball has been played. Teams that go out and dominate their opponents every game are very rare. Are we worse than our record indicates? Maybe we are a little bit, but winning and holding a lead on the road are tough to do for almost everybody. You have to give this team credit for maintaining their poise and making the plays they have to make to win close games. They are very difficult to put away.

  25. Sam '92 02/09/2006 at 9:29 AM #

    The second half flop was disappointing, but the bottom line is that we pulled out an overtime win against a pretty good team on their home court. before the game i thought miami was going to win; for once i’m glad i was wrong. good job by the team, and the coach too. this team is pretty solid.

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