North Carolina State Wolfpack
Record: (21-12, 9-9)
Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference
How They Qualified: At-Large Bid
Mark Gottfried entered the season following a disappointing 2012-2013 campaign. They lost their top scorers and had a lot of unknowns at point guard and in the paint. A lot of those concerns went away as T.J. Warren emerged as the best scorer in the ACC. After a huge season he won the ACC Player of the Year award over Duke’s Jabari Parker. He managed to score 83 points in the last two games of the year heading into the ACC Tournament.
The Wolfpack lost a lot of close games. They played tough against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome before blowing the lead late. They blew a big game at home against UNC in overtime. So they played well in the big games. Unfortunately they played down to the bad teams and lost some they shouldn’t have.
Warren’s scoring exhibition continued into the ACC Tournament. That was the key to the Wolfpack making a deep enough run in the ACC to make the NCAA Tournament. After knocking off Miami, NC State upset Syracuse and then followed that with another close big game against Duke to punch their ticket to the big dance.
What You Need to Know
Leading Scorer: T.J. Warren – 24.9 points per game
Leading Rebounder: T.J. Warren – 7.2 rebounds per game
Leading Passer: Cat Barber – 3.7 assists per game
Bad Losses: North Carolina Central, Wake Forest
Good Wins: Syracuse, @Pittsburgh
What to Expect
The Wolfpack lost a lot of close games. When somebody other than Warren is hitting shots like Ralston Turner, they can stay in every game. If Tyler Lewis and Cat Barber don’t turn the ball over at the point and stay aggressive this team can hang in a game long enough to pull off the upset.
NC State needed a deep run in the ACC Tournament to make the Big Dance. They’ll need that same effort to make it out of the first weekend.