NC State at Virginia, 9:00 PM on ACC Network. It’ll be a Top 25 matchup. The Wolfpack entered the rankings this week at #22, while the Hoos dropped to 8th.
Virginia at 9-3 is tied for 2nd place in the conference, a half game behind first place Clemson. NC State is nipping on their heels at 9-4, tied for 4th place.
About NC State
Head Coach Kevin Keatts has the Wolfpack in great shape to make their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since his first season there in 2018. He’s turned things around in a hurry with help from the transfer portal. Four of his starters transferred in, three of them newcomers this year.
State enters with a 19-5 overall record, 9-4 in ACC play. Winners of eight of the last nine, they’re playing as well as anyone in the league right now. The NCAA’s NET formula doesn’t love them as much as the media though. They’re ranked 42nd, making this a Quad-2 game for the Hoos at home.
NC State Personnel
Terquavion Smith 6’4 So G (18.5 PPG). He’s the ACC’s leading scorer. Can be streaky but he’s extremely confident. Takes by far the most 3-pointers in the league, hitting 35% on over eight attempts per game.
Jarkel Joiner 6’1 Sr G (16.2 PPG). 6th-year senior transfer from Ole Miss is having his best college season. He’s aggressive off the bounce, draws a lot of fouls. 35% from 3.
Casey Morsell 6’3 Sr SG (12.6 PPG). Former UVA guard has become one of the top 3-point shooters in the league, hitting 44%.
Greg Gantt 6’8 Jr PF (2.1 PPG). Transfer from Providence is an athletic versatile defender at the 4-spot.
DJ Burns 6’9 Sr C (12.1 PPG). Skilled wide body big man transferred from Winthrop with a prior stop at Tennessee. They’re running a lot of offense through him lately. He’s had 20+ field goal attempts in two of their last three games.
Sophomore forward Ernest Ross (4.1 PPG) has emerged as a scoring threat off the bench. He had 16 points in Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech. Freshman guard LJ Thomas (3.1 PPG) is shooting 47% from three in limited usage. And junior big man Ebenezer Dowuona (1.8 PPG) backs up Burns.
-KenPom has NC State 39th in offensive efficiency, 63rd on defense. Playing at the 60th fastest tempo.
-Neither of these teams commit many turnovers. Virginia has the 9th lowest rate in the country, NC State has the 3rd.
-NC State forward Jack Clark (9.1 PPG), a LaSalle transfer, has been out since late December. He’s reportedly close to returning, so we could see him on Tuesday.
-The early betting line has the Hoos as a 7.5 point favorite.