Nova Preview, Byting Saturday, & Open Thread


It’s another full day of basketball in the 2015 NCAA Tournament and today we’re moving on into the Round of 32. After a thrilling – and literally last second – win over LSU in the Round of 64, the Pack received a prime time slot and will tip off against Villanova at 7:10 this evening in Pittsburgh. The game will once again be aired by TBS.

I’m going to list some NC State related media links below first, along with my own preview of semi-ignorance, and then I’ll throw in some general notes on today’s Round of 32 action. It’s Caturday! (google it) and that can only mean good things for Cat and the Pack 🙂 Enjoy your Saturday everyone, and Go Pack. (Please visit the forums for even more discussion on various topics).

Web links:

GoPack tournament central w/ twitter feed, stats, bracket, etc. game preview

Espn preview

“When they’re at their best, they’re as good as anybody in the country,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “They were at their best against Duke and I think we saw that in the second half [against LSU].”

That’s really the thing about the Wolfpack — when they’re good, they’re very, very good, but when they’re bad — well, you know the rest.

So which team will come out against top-seeded Villanova?

That’s the big riddle.

Fox Sports preview

”I just saw the air ball and the guy put it back in,” said fifth-year Villanova senior JayVaughn Pinkston. ”I haven’t seen ours yet.”

Big East co-player of the year Ryan Arcidiacono laughed as he gave his teammate a hard time.

”There’s a constant video outside of where we practice that you can replay the whole national championship video and it literally, it’s playing all day,” he said.

Pinkston shrugged it off: ”I never really paid any attention.”

… FOR THREE: The Wildcats are at their best when they connect on 3s. They were a fantastic 11 of 22 against Lafayette, the eighth time in the last 11 games they’ve hit at least 10 3s. They also hit at least 10 3s in 12 of 18 Big East games.

”If they’re blowing by you left and right and they’re getting past guys and you’ve got to come help and they’re moving the ball and finding shooters, you’re going to be in for a long night,” Gottfried said.
















Other Videos:

wufpup’s semi-ignorant preview:

Nova enters the game scorching hot, both in consecutive victories (16) and from the field – they shot a ridiculous 63% against Lafayette, which included a blistering 11-22 performance from 3.

As alluded to in the videos and previews above, Nova utilizes a guard-oriented line-up where dribble penetration is key. The penetration opens up the passing lane for kick outs to an open 3, puts pressure on the interior defense which can lead to foul trouble, and also typically leads to a lot of offensive rebounds (they had 7 on Thursday; everything else went through the net).

Don’t let their rather smallish team size average fool you – as has been the norm for Nova under Jay Wright they are an incredibly physical and aggressive team. Nova attempts to really force the issue on both ends of the court – high pressure, physical man D and aggressive rim attacks on offense.

As for match-ups, Nova starts a 6-11 forward (Ochefu) and essentially four aggressive guards, though Pinkston is a very athletic 6-7 G/F. Typically against smallish line-ups this season we’ve seen the Pack go small – either by absolute necessity or by whimsy choice. I doubt we’ll see a starting line-up change, but I suppose we’ll see. AoD (Kyle!) could be a valuable match-up tonight if he stays in control and is able to pull a defender out on the perimeter with him … then hopefully Cat and Lacey would decide to do their own dribble penetration. I’d be happy with some Dez minutes tonight to attempt to stifle dribble penetration – especially if it gets rocky early … but really we’ll have to see what gameplan is in store and how the match-ups work out. Cat & co. are going to have to come up huge on the perimeter. This could be a very interesting chess match, or a …  .

I fully expect a haymaker attempt right off the tip to see how State responds. The Pack did not respond against Duke in the ACC quarters, and if Nova can get in the Pack’s heads early it will be a long night. However, if the Pack responds with their own collective nasty demeanor and resolve they’ll have an opportunity to set the tone for a potential dogfight throughout. As we all know, so many of the Pack’s results this season have been due to what happens between the ears and not so much because of a talent deficit. If they want it, here it is.

Ok, hopefully we’re all primed for the action tonight. Get your liquor, wine, beer, cider, Bojangles, Hardees’, Applebees, etc. ready early and be ready to howl at the moon with the rest of the wolves at gametime. Where were we? Oh, right – other games. Here you go:

Viewer’s guide with tip times and station listings

ACC: Cheats/Hogs ~ 8:40pm, TNT | Irish/Butler ~ 9:40pm TBS

wufpup’s bias: You could make an argument for Dayton being the most “charmed” team in this year’s tournament … They squeaked into the field as a ‘First Four’ participant and got that match-up on their home court. After a narrow come from behind victory there, they got to play their round of 64 match-up against Providence just down the road in Columbus. With a mostly partisan crowd on hand, Dayton was able to pull away late thanks in part to a ludicrous technical slapped on Providence coach Ed Cooley.

To me, however, Dayton is not the most charmed team. Not even close. That distinction belongs to UCLA in my eyes. Not only should the Bruins not be in the field, they didn’t even have to play in a ‘First Four’ game. They won their Round of 64 match-up due to the ‘goaltend miracle’. On top of that, they don’t even have to face Iowa State in the Round of 32 today. The Cyclones would wipe the floor with UCLA with just their ‘B’ game. Nope. It’s the plucky Blazers of UAB that will face UCLA. Just imagine that the Bruins win … we all get to hear an entire week’s worth of how the committe was ‘justified in their selection of UCLA and how everyone just needs to relax because this stuff always ‘works out’. The committee has ‘special eyes‘ and knew that UCLA was ‘capable’ of such a run. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. Please, for the love of all that is holy – win Blazers. Win.

Have fun everyone.

About wufpup76

'99 grad. Abundant reservoir of useless knowledge and even more useless skills. Vehement believer in the individual voice and also that it will indeed all be over by Friday.

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Home Forums Nova Preview / Sat. Rd. of 32 Open Thread

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    Greetings! It’s another full day of basketball in the 2015 NCAA Tournament and today we’re moving on into the Round of 32. After a thrilling – and lit
    [See the full post at: Nova Preview / Sat. Rd. of 32 Open Thread]


    Hi. Authors – if you feel the need to edit a post in any way, would you please denote your edits by highlighting your author/user name? I would appreciate it very much. I will be sure to return the same courtesy in the future should a similar need ever arise. Thanks a lot!! 🙂


    After the last Duke game, I hope the bad Wolfpack has been shelved for the rest of the season. If we bring our A game, we can go far. Go Pack!


    ^ There’s no reason to expect that the bad Wolfpack has been shelved for the season. They’ve been here all year. The only hope is that the bad Wolfpack doesn’t choose to show up today. Make no mistake though, they’re still around.


    I will be opimistic, and hope they may have finally learned their lesson, and realize they have to be good from here on out, or the season is over. Guess we will know after the game.


    No need to watch this game tonight everyone. As this website says:

    Villanova awaits, and it will take a completely out of character, mistake-free, Herculean effort by the Wolfpack to still be in the game by the second half. Villanova has earned every bit of their one seed, and as the statistics show, NC State similarly ‘deserved’ their eight seed and stumbled into the second round. Have faith in the stats, Nova Nation: Villanova is very much in the driver’s seat, and NC State is merely a speed bump.

    So let us just get ready for the other ACC games today.


    ^ That entire preview drips of so much arrogance I would have thought it from Carolina or ‘Cuse fans.

    I would love it if their team had a similar mindset.


    This comment is very telling.

    “I always felt like for us to ever go to another level, he’s the guy,” coach Mark Gottfried said. “Somehow, we’ve got to get him playing at a higher level. My encouragement to him was just, you need to be you. Go be Cat. Go play. If you’re going to make mistakes, make them, but let’s make them at 100 miles an hour. I don’t want you walking the ball up the floor, playing conservatively. I want you to cut it loose.”


    Interesting post from the Nova faithful. Heard very similar things from Georgetown folks a few years back. We will need to be focused, show defensive intensity and play our A game from start to finish.

    What the Nova guy doesn’t understand is that Nova would NOT be a #1 seed had they played in the ACC.


    And let’s go Razorbacks! Stomp through the unx cesspool.

    1.21 Jigawatts

    I wanted to tie in this weekend’s games back to the ODS articles by taking a look to see how those who made the R32 did compared to the last 13 seasons as well as looking to see what we should expect from the weekend games.

    Looking at teams who reached the Round of 32 in the past I discovered when you set the bottom ODS value at -1Sigma (11.4) the average number of teams that fall below 11.4 and make it came out to 2.5 teams, the maximum number in a year was 4 in 3 different years. In 2015 there were 2 teams with a value below 11.4 that made it to the Round of 32: Georgia St. (9.9) and UAB (3.7), well within the norms.

    Here’s a little bit of 411 to pass along, the 3rd lowest ODS value this year to advance to the R32 was 12.7 and that was done by 2 teams: Cincinnati and NC State. Since NC State entered the tournament with an ODS value of 13.6, they shockingly moved on by playing worse but when a team is determined to give you the game it would be rude to turn it down.

    Now looking at teams to move on to the Sweet 16, we set the bottom ODS value at -1Sigma (14.4) for teams to advance. Using 14.4 there was an average of 1.2 upsets, or teams below 14.4 that advanced to the S16, with a maximum of 3 teams below 14.4 in 2012. Using this information we can expect up to 3 teams below 14.4 to advance and here are the list of 9 teams which meet this criteria and their ODS values:

    (8) San Diego St. (14.3)
    (4) Maryland (13.9)
    (8) Oregon (13.1)
    (11) Dayton (12.9)
    (11) UCLA (12.9)
    (8) Cincinnati (12.7)
    (8) NC State (12.7)
    (14) Georgia St. (9.9)
    (14) UAB (3.7)

    I don’t know about the rest of you but something sticks out more to me than 14 seeds Georgia St. and UAB in that list and that’s the Twerps. For a team that is seeded 4th they sure haven’t been playing very good lately.

    With UCLA/UAB squaring off against each other we are guaranteed 1 of the 9 teams to advance and thus satisfy the average over the last 13 years. Since Maryland has such a favorable seeding they are the likeliest of those remaining teams to advance but they still have to face WVU who should be favored in that game in my opinion. With all the 8 seeds having to play 1 seeds it’s highly unlikely, not impossible just unlikely, any of them will advance. I wouldn’t count out Dayton either, the Fightin’ Archies are a tough bunch and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them take down Oklahoma.


    This comment is very telling.

    A coach tells the team’s most impactful player that the team’s potential depends on that player maximizing his skill and talent. Yes, very telling indeed.

    If only Jamie Dixon were available to help navigate this mystery.


    Pre-game meal will be Tex-Mex tonight. Might even fire up the Margarita machine. Getting to the second weekend is more important for next year’s edition of the Pack than it is this year’s. Going through that preparation week and handling the attention is an experience we can really benefit from. This year’s team is playing with house money at this point.

    As for the rest of the games today it’s Woo Pig Sooie!, Go Bucks!, Go Bulldogs, Blazers, and Panthers.


    Wufpup got it exactly right with this one sentence …

    As we all know, so many of the Pack’s results this season have been due to what happens between the ears and not so much because of a talent deficit.

    It’s going to be all about how we respond when we get down 10+ early and get frustrated by their defense.


    The thing that gives me the most hope is Nova’s schedule. They haven’t played a lot of great teams. I am hoping that they will be shocked by our teams combination of size, skill, athleticism and toughness.

    If we bring it like we brought it against UNC, Duke (at home), uva and the domers we will be fine and in the game at the end. OTOH, we know what else this goofy group is capable of.


    Can someone explain the Angel of Death nickname for KW?


    Ask our last opponent.


    ^ hahahahahahahaha


    So helpful.


    So helpful.

    I can’t recall exactly, but there was a game thread (I think) in which a small discussion took place on the necessity of Kyle W. getting a site nickname. I can’t remember who spit it out, but due to his amusing facial expressions (which always seem to get photographed) ‘Angel of Death’ was suggested and stuck.

    I believe that’s pretty much it …


    It would really be helpful for our outside shooters to not struggle for 75% of the game today. If they follow the general pattern of failing to get open and missing shots, this game will be out of hand before the 2nd TV timeout.


    Not sure if serious…


    Getting this out of the way early…


    Getting this out of the way early…

    A fine, fine effort …

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