â€œOur fans are comparing ourselves to Duke and North Carolina…I understand that our fans want to be able to compete with them; we all do. But you can be real good on a daily basis and not be better than those two programs.”
NC State Athletics Director
* Thanks to the N&O for the following:
It took Sidney Lowe one season to do what Herb Sendek did only once in 10 seasons â€” beat Duke and Carolina in the same season.
State beat Duke 85-80 in overtime and UNC on Feb. 3. Loweâ€™s 2-2 against Duke and UNC. Sendek went 3-21 vs. Duke and 5-17 vs. UNC. The only time Sendek beat both in the same season was 2002-03.
Itâ€™s the first time State beat a ranked UNC and a ranked Duke team in the same season since 1990-91.
* Couldn’t help but remember the following in light of the opponent tonight:
But letâ€™s assume for a moment that Sendek does leave N.C. State. The question then becomes, can State do better?
Would State be able to attract a prominent big name coach or would the school have to roll the dice on somebody young and unproven, maybe a Valvano discipline such as Derek Whittenburg?…
…I canâ€™t help thinking about how Clemson football fans ran Ken Hatfield off in the early 1990sâ€”largely because he was a bad personality fit at the redneck school. He didnâ€™t drive a pickup truck or spit tobacco like Danny Ford. All he did was win football games. So they ran him off as Wolfpack fans are trying to run Sendek off and hired Tommy West instead. They loved himâ€”he was a Danny Ford clone in every way except he turned the program into a mediocrity (he even lost to Duke!).
N.C. State had better be careful. They may run off Sendek and find themselves stuck with Tommy West.
Duke Basketball Report,
* In a year where NC State played the toughest schedule in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Wolfpack is guaranteed a non-losing season in Coach Sidney Lowe’s first season at the helm of a depleted NC State program.
* NC State has delivered two of Duke’s last three losses in the ACC Tournament. Tonight, in the first overtime Tourney game in three years, Sidney Lowe became the second NC State coach in a row to defeat a higher-seeded Duke team in his first ACC Tournament.
* Duke had knocked NC State out of four of the last six ACC tournaments – including two wins in the ACC finals.
* Wolfpackers EVERYWHERE need to set a precedent on Friday and fly your flags on your homes and on your cars!!!
* NC State played with one McDonald’s All-American tonight. Duke played with six McDonald’s All-Americans.
* Coach Sidney Lowe improves to a 4-2 record vs the Big Four and currently does not have a losing record against a single Big Four school. Additionally, Coach Lowe is 8-2 vs teams in the state of North Carolina.
* The national media and the HSSS can re-visit your crow by clicking here.
* Do NOT underestimate the importance of the following – Duke did not out rebound State tonight AND the Blue Devils had three more turnovers than State (with Engin Atsur playing).
* The N&O’s ACCNow blog has the following picture linked on the site. It is especially interesting to those of us NC State fans who clamored for a change in our basketball program for six friggin years in light of the fact that if Lee Fowler would have had his way, Sidney Lowe would have never been coaching at NC State. Sometimes you have to wonder about the gall & nerve of some people
* The N&O says that Costner & the Wolfpack stun Duke.
NC State, with forward Brandon Costner and senior point guard Engin Atsur refusing to wilt, roared back from several deficits to score the second big upset of the ACC men’s basketball tournament tonight, ousting Duke 85-80.
At the end of a back-and-forth second half, Atsur gave the Pack the lead at 70-68 with his third three-pointer of the second half, with 1:30 left, but Nelson tied the score for the 11th time with a layup with 41 seconds to go. State had five shots down the stretch, but Courtney Fells’ three-pointer and Atsur’s tip follow did not find the mark as regulation time expired.
Costner converted a three-point play with 4:22 left in overtime, and State maintained the lead the rest of the way. Gavin Grant’s free throw with 25 seconds left gave the Pack a four-point lead at 83-79, and Costner put it away with two free tosses to make it 85-80 with 11 seconds to go.
Costner led State with a career-high 30 points, and senior guard Engin Atsur added 21. Ben McCauley had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
* Departing shot focused on ACC pride – if Boston College wins on Friday, the ACC will have NINE teams with 20 or more wins.