March 12, 2012
Hopefully you were among our RECORD traffic this weekend as WolfpackNation experienced a ton of highs and a ton of lows. In addition to all of the activity on our main blog, our Twitter coverage was so excellent that we added almost 400 followers in a 48 hour period!
In addition to all of the work done on our main blog…our message forums kick off this Monday morning with a TON of great threads and news that would be of interest to you. Please click here and don’t hesitate to participate by commenting or sharing other news that you find ‘out there’.
Our readers often ask how they can support SFN? The answer is easy — traffic as defined by pageviews. We get nothing if you click on the advertisements, but we do get credit for every pageview; so, your presence and participation in all of our entries are vital!
Way to wake up!!
If you have not yet seen the video of the Wolfpack Basketball team reacting to their NCAA Tournament bid then you really need to watch the video below to get a big smile and get yourself going today.
NC STATE BASKETBALL
Chip Alexander (N&O)
Pack’s ‘please, please’ prayers answered
When athletic director Debbie Yow hired Gottfried last year to replace Sidney Lowe, she believed it might take a few years to become an NCAA team. Gottfried immediately asked that some teams be dropped from this season’s schedule and more higher profile teams added.
“I knew it might be a tall order this first year, to be an NCAA Tournament team,” Gottfried said. “I knew there was some potential with this group and we just needed to put it together.
“What’s very important is our strength of schedule became something that helped us. I took this job and I wanted to make our schedule harder. Debbie Yow was very supportive. She was nervous about it but very supportive. To buy out some contracts and get into some other contracts, we had to spend some money, which shows the commitment from Debbie Yow.”
CHIP ALEXANDER (N&O)
N.C. State last, but in the NCAA tourney
N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said it was torture.
Wolfpack senior C.J. Williams said he was sinking deeper and deeper into his seat, the tension building.
As for athletic director Debbie Yow, she said she was steeling herself to be strong for the players should the ultimate disappointment unfold and the Pack be left out of the NCAA Tournament.
Only one tournament slot was unfilled Sunday and the Wolfpack still waiting. Then, just like that, there it was being flashed on the CBS Selection Show: N.C. State on the board. It was cardiac for the Pack, but N.C. State made it as an 11th seed in the Midwest Region and will face sixth-seeded San Diego State (26-7) on Friday in Columbus, Ohio.
â€œIt was intense,â€ Pack junior Scott Wood said. â€œEverything is wandering through your mind. Youâ€™re not going to be in. What if youâ€™re the last one?
â€œThatâ€™s about as crazy as it can get, right there. When you come down to the last pick itâ€™s like, â€˜Oh, please, just please.â€™â€
The ACC declined to talk about the multiple controversies involving the referees and N.C. State at ACC tournament game on Sunday, but ESPN did, even the participants in the game-deciding sequence from Saturday’s memorable game between the Wolfpack and North Carolina exchanged messages of mutual respect on Twitter.
On Sunday, ACC commissioner John Swofford, associate commissioner Karl Hicks and head of officials John Clougherty declined to comment about the officiating issues at the tournament, which started on Thursday when three officials each wore the initials “KH” on a piece of white tape on their sneakers.
The apparent tribute by officials Jamie Luckie, Mike Eades and Bernard Clinton was a reference to veteran ACC official Karl Hess, who declined an invitation to work the ACC tournament.
ESPN had to blur out Gottfried’s reaction, which included profanity, to the no-call by Dorsey before the Marshall basket.
“That’s a charge!” Gottfried clearly screams to Dorsey.
ESPN’s cameras didn’t capture Dorsey’s response but official Tim Nestor physically interceded and moved Dorsey to the other side of the court, away from Gottfried and the N.C. State bench.
Jim Young (accsports.com)
Quick Thoughts On Selection Sunday
N.C. State, No. 11 Midwest: Boy, the committee really made the Wolfpack sweat, didnâ€™t it? N.C. State was the last team announced during the CBS selection show. Iâ€™ll be honest, I donâ€™t know a ton about No. 6 San Diego State, but hey, KenPom.com has the Aztecs (No. 52) ranked below the Wolfpack (No. 44). So thereâ€™s that. Get by that game and then a matchup with Georgetown and itâ€™s Princeton-style offense would likely await in the second round. Hereâ€™s betting that would lead to plenty of folks bringing up Herb Sendek and the Princeton-style offense he ran during his days at State. Oh goodie.
Previewing San Diego State
Feature Player: Jamaal Franklin — A 6’5 guard, Franklin is a terror on the glass, as he averaged 19.5 points and 9.9 rebounds while being named MWC Player of the Year.
This season he averaged 17.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.1 steals for the Aztecs. Franklin also shot 80.3 percent from the free-throw line. In 28 games this season, Franklin scored in double figures 25 times and produced a double-double on 11 different occasions.
Austin Johnson (PackPride.com)
REACTION: Gottfried, Yow Talk NCAAs
NC State will play San Diego State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Columbus on Friday. This is the Pack’s 23rd trip to the NCAA Tournament, and its first since the 2005-06 season. The Wolfpack is 32-20 overall in the Big Dance, and one of only 17 teams that have won two national titles, 1974 and again in 1983.
“Today was a very long day,” said head coach Mark Gottfried. “When you are the last team picked, its a long show. I am very proud of what this team has accomplished. The room erupted when we saw our name, and these players should feel good.”
The Wolfpack enters with a 22-12 record under first-year head Mark Gottfried, whose inaugural win tally at NC State is second to only legendary coach Everett Case for first-year Pack mentors, who was 26-5 in the first-ever ACC campaign.
The 22 victories represent the most wins by the program since the 2005-06 season when it concluded the year with a 22-10 mark and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Including this season, the Pack has posted 22 wins in a season just three times over the last 22 years.
San Diego State Team Report
BERNIE WILSON, AP Sports Writer
Aztecs in NCAA tourney for 3rd straight year
Jacey Zembal (TheWolfpacker.com)
Wolfpack achieve goals quicker than expected
NC State is back in the tournament that it helped make famous.
The Wolfpack (22-12) finally snapped a five-season drought by being selected as a No. 11 seed in the Midwest to play against No. 6-seed San Diego State (26-7) on Friday in Columbus, Ohio. NCSU will be competing in the tourney for the 23rd time, which includes winning the national title in 1974 and 1983.
Former NC State coach Sidney Lowe resigned March 15, 2011, after a disappointing 15-16 record, and the new coach was expected to rebuild the Wolfpack into an NCAA Tournament squad and finish in the top half of the ACC.
Neither NCSU athletic director Debbie Yow or first-year coach Mark Gottfried expected that both big picture goals would get accomplished so soon. NC State achieved both by earning a berth in the NCAA Tournament and the Wolfpack also reached the ACC Tournament semifinals, falling 69-67 to North Carolina on Saturday in Atlanta. The bar has been raised for the program.
“I’m a optimist, so I think anything is possible,” said Gottfried, who had his contract extended until 2018 for making the tournament in his first two years. “I felt like it would probably be a tall order this first year to be an NCAA Tournament team. I felt this would be quite an accomplishment if we pulled it off.
Andrew Young (FoxSportsSouth.com)
Breakdown of ACC teams in NCAA tournament
The N.C. State Wolfpack (22-12) was the last team to appear on the board Sunday evening and as an 11 seed in the Midwest will take on San Diego State of the Mountain West Conference. The Wolfpack played very well at the ACC Tournament and could be a surprise team in the NCAAs if C.J. Leslie continues to play as he has, C.J. Williams avoids foul trouble, and Scott Wood can get open looks. This club has come a long way since Mark Gottfried too over last spring. He had a lot of work to do getting this team on the same page and advancing their games individually and collectively. If NCSY can get past the Aztecs, it could face a Georgetown team itâ€™s capable of beating. Then a possible date with Kansas in the Sweet 16 might be interesting.
Eamonn Brennan (ESPN)
We’re off on the road to New Orleans
Thanks for the bid (and the memories)
Seriously, we’re just happy to be here:
NC State Wolfpack
Sweet, sweet relief: The Wolfpack were the last team announced in the field Sunday, the bracket equivalent of a last-second 30-foot buzzer-beater. The good news? NC State ended the season playing its best basketball, when it took North Carolina to the wire in the ACC tournament.
NCAA Tournament Schedule
Brett Friedlander (starnewsonline.com)
BEYOND THE ARC: Tomahawk Chopping in Atlanta
4. Calvinâ€™s coming of age: N.C. State sophomore C.J. Leslie firmly established himself a bona fide star in the league during the ACC tournament by averaging 17.3 points and 10.7 rebounds while shooting 72.7 percent from the floor while earning first-team All-Tournament honors. He would have posted double-doubles in all three games if not for Brian Dorseyâ€™s phantom fifth foul call.
3. Empty seats: Officially, the attendance for each of the ACC tournamentâ€™s six sessions was 19,520, a sellout. Many of them, however, came dressed as empty seats even after the move from the cavernous Georgia Dome to the smaller Philips Arena. Tickets for Thursdayâ€™s opening round games were going for as little as $1.99 on StubHub and only Sundayâ€™s championship game featured a crowd that resembled those of ACC tournaments past.
4. ACC refs: The men in stripes were in the news even before the tournament began when it was announced that Karl Hess wouldnâ€™t be there. The controversy grew when Mike Eades, Jamie Luckie and Bernard Clinton came out for the opening game wearing Hessâ€™ initials taped to their shoes. Between that, Brian Dorseyâ€™s profanity-laced run-in with N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried and some highly questionable calls, it wasnâ€™t a good week for John Cloughertyâ€™s guys.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE WEEK
Florida Stateâ€™s championship was the best thing that could have happened to the ACC. Not only did it bump the Seminoles up to a No. 3 NCAA tournament seed and give the ESPN talking heads something else to talk about besides UNC and Duke, but breathed some badly needed life into the tournament. Maybe now that fans see other teams really are capable of winning the title, theyâ€™ll start buying tickets and attending the games again. FSUâ€™s win was also significant in that it made Leonard Hamilton the first black coach ever to lead a team to the tourney title.
LUKE DECOCK (N&O)
The bracket’s winners and losers
No one is a bigger winner than N.C. State, which not only found its way into the field, but avoided a play-in game in Dayton. Of course, CBS did make the Wolfpack wait until the absolute, final moment. As for the rest of the bracket…
1. Drexel: More than ever, the message from the committee was about nonconference scheduling. Drexel played only one nonconference game against a team that made the NCAA tournament.
2. Miami: The ACC gets five teams in, but not a sixth. Who knows what would have happened if Durand Scott hadn’t been suspended Friday night, when the Hurricanes lost to Florida State?
3. Washington: The Pac-12 was dismal this year, beyond awful, but the regular-season champion of a BCS conference used to consider an NCAA tournament bid a birthright.
Joe Person, David Scott, Ron Green Jr., Rick Bonnell, Jim Utter, Andrew Carter, Jack Daly, J.P. Giglio (N&O)
A deeper look at the NCAA tournament field
42. N.C. State
Record: 22-11 Seed: No. 11 Midwest
Best win: Texas 77-74
Worst loss: Georgia Tech 82-71
Scouting report: Forward C.J. Leslie and guard Lorenzo Brown give the Wolfpack, in the field for the first time since 2006, one of the best combos in the country, especially with the way they have played during the past two weeks. Foul trouble and depth issues have haunted the Wolfpack, though, and could be its undoing.
NCAA tournament opening odds
N.C. STATE > 100-1
Bret Strelow (FayObserver.com)
Video of N.C. State’s live reaction to making the NCAA tournament field when all hope appeared lost
Watch the joy that comes out of graduate student Alex Johnson. One of the reasons he transferred from CSU-Bakersfield to N.C. State was because he wanted a chance to play in the NCAA tournament. Now he has it.
The footage of junior DeShawn Painter bear-hugging first-year coach Mark Gottfried and spinning around with him is truly moving. No matter what team you root for, the emotion involved is what makes March Madness and basketball on Tobacco Road special.
James Henderson (PackPride.com)
Gottfried’s Contract Extended With NCAA Bid
“To be honest, we actually put in his contract that the extension would occur if he reached the NCAAs in his first or second season because I didn’t think the first year was close to being likely,” said Yow. “I knew if our new coaching staff got us there I would be very excited, and I am.
“Words can’t express what it was like sitting with the team, the coaches and their families and seeing our named called that late in the process. The spontaneous eruption of joy was unbelievable. I will never forget this.”
According to Yow, the two additional years are guaranteed at $1.2 million per year for a total guaranteed compensation of $2.4 million.
Gottfried also has a chance to earn additional income through bonuses with his team in the tournament.
According to the contract, he would receive a bonus in the amount of one month’s Annual Salary (approximately $62,500), if NC State achieves a Sweet Sixteen appearance.
“I’m happy about it,” said Yow. “I’m happy about the extension because Mark has earned it, and he has earned the additional guaranteed money that comes with the extension. I’m delighted.”
Gregg Doyel (CBSSports.com)
Midwest Regional: UNC, Kansas figure to lock horns in KU’s back yard
4. Watch the birdie: San Diego State sophomore guard Jamaal Franklin was the Mountain West Player of the Year this season, but he made his biggest headlines in the conference title game when he appeared — according to reporters courtside — to flip off a referee after being called for a foul. Franklin denied it afterward.
Dark horse pick: I don’t like any of the true “dark horses” in this regional — Belmont, Creighton, St. Mary’s … not for me. So I’m going with the palest dark horse pick of all time, the 11th-seeded Wolfpack from, um, North Carolina State. From the ACC. With two national titles in its history. But they’re the only double-digit seed I see advancing to the Round of 16, so shaddup!
Most likely upset: N.C. State over San Diego State is so easy, it’s a shame. The Aztecs manhandled their conference, but I’m not a huge believer in the X-and-O ability of Steve Fisher (or whoever’s coaching that team, behind the scenes). So if you want an easy pick, pencil in North Carolina State as the winner of this game in the Round of 64. But if it doesn’t work, don’t come crying to me. Next time, think for yourself. Ahem.
3. The stats say N.C. State had some of the best players in the ACC. Point guard Lorenzo Brown led the league in steals (1.8 per game) and was second in assists (6.4). Scott Wood led in 3-point shooting (41.1 percent). And C.J. Leslie was in the top 10 in scoring (14.6 ppg, ninth) and rebounding (7.5, seventh).
Gottfried: It was torture