Tip-Off: 7:00 p.m.
Radio: Airtime begins @ 5:00 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network
NC State Information
NC State Projected Starting Line-up
G Ryan Harrow
G Lorenzo Brown
F Scott Wood
F C.J. Leslie
F Tracy Smith
Maryland Projected Starting Line-up
G Terrell Stoglin
G Cliff Tucker
F Sean Mosley
F Dino Gregory
C Jordan Williams
Players to Watch
C.J. Leslie -- His play might be the key to NC State's success. When Leslie brings it on both ends the Wolfpack usually comes away with a victory.
Jordan Williams - The ACC's double-double machine, Williams leads the league in rebounding and field goal percentage. He is the league's top post player.
NC State Notebook
NOTING THE PACK
• For the second time in the last three ACC Tournaments, Maryland and NC State face off in the first round as the No. 7 and No. 10 seeds.
• NCStateis63-47(.573)all-time in the ACC Tournament. The Pack's 10 tournament titles rank third behind Duke and North Carolina.
• NC State is 3-2 all-time as the 10th seed, and 9-2 all-time against the No. 7 seed.
• Sidney Lowe posts a record of 5-4 in his four ACC Tournaments. In 2007 NC State reached the championship game, and last season reached the semifinals.
• Under Lowe, the Pack is 17-7 in both in-season and postseason tournaments.
• Since1997,NC State is 9-6 in games in the ACC Tournament when the Wolfpack is the No. 8 seed or lower, the rest of the ACC is 16-35 when seeded eighth or lower.
• NC State is 4-1 at the Greensboro Coliseum over the last two seasons.
• Scott Wood has averaged 12.2 points in five career games at the Greensboro Coliseum, hitting 18-of-29 (.621) three-pointers.
• C.J. Leslie was named to the ACC All-Freshman team. He tied for the conference lead in being named ACC Rookie of the Week three times this season.
• In NC State's five ACC wins, the Pack has a +7.4 rebounding advantage and in the 11 losses the rebounding margin is -6.0.
• Tracy Smith has averaged 14.4 points over the last seven games, after averaging 10.0 points the previous four games.
• Lorenzo Brown has averaged 10.0 points over the last 12 games, including a career-best 20 points at North Carolina and 15 points at Duke. He has also dished out 5.2 assists per game over the last 10 games.
NC State in the ACC Tournament
NC State has played 110 games in the ACC Tournament, and enters the 58th annual event with a 63-47 (.573) mark, dating back to 1954. The Pack is the third-winningest team in tournament history (behind North Carolina and Duke), and also ranks third in tournament titles with 10.
The Pack as the 10th seed
This year marks the third time that NC State will enter the ACC Tournament as the 10th-seeded team. The ACC expanded to 12 teams for the 2005-06 season, and the Wolfpack was the tournament's 10th seed in Sidney Lowe's first season at the 2007 ACC Tournament and also in the 2009 ACC Tournament in Atlanta.
The Pack went on a memorable run in 2007, playing four games in four days in Tampa. The run started with an overtime win over seventh-seeded and 21st-ranked Duke in the first round. NC State then defeated No. 2 seed Virginia and No. 3 seed Virginia Tech to advance to its 17th championship game in the program's history. The Pack's luck would run out in the championship game against top-seeded, eighth-ranked North Carolina, 89-80. The 2007 NC State squad became only the second team in ACC Tournament history to play four games in four days (NC State also accomplished that feat in 1997).
The Pack was once again the 10th seed in 2009, but fell to seventh-seeded Maryland in first-round action, 74-69.
The Pack vs. the Seventh seed
NC State has fared extremely well in its previous matchups against the seventh seed in the ACC Tournament, posting a 9-2 recrod. The Pack won its first nine matchups against the tournament's seventh-seeded teams, but has dropped the last two.
NC State's last win over the seventh seed came in 2007 against Duke in Tampa.
The Pack in First Round Action
NC State will be playing in the first round of the ACC Tournament for the 12th time. The Pack is currently 6-5 in first round action.
Sidney Lowe downed No. 21 Duke in 2007 as the Pack was the 10th seed playing seventh-seeded Duke. In 2008, the Pack fell to Miami playing as the 12th seed, and in 2009 fell to Maryland as the 10th seed. Last year NC State was the 11th seed and beat Clemson in the first round.
The Pack in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro
The ACC Tournament is being played in Greensboro for the 23rd time, and the Pack currently holds a record of 23-20 in ACC Tournament contests played in Greensboro. The Pack won the ACC Championship in Greensboro in both 1973 and 1974.
The league championship is being played in Greensboro for the fifth time since 2003. The Pack has gone 7-4 in its last four trips to Greensboro, including an ACC Tournament finals appearance in 2003.
Head coach Sidney Lowe is coaching in his second ACC Tournament in Greensboro. Last season, the Pack advanced to the semifinals with wins over Clemson and Florida State before falling to Georgia Tech.
As a player, Lowe played in two different tournaments at the Greensboro Coliseum. In his freshman season in 1980, the Pack lost in the quarterfinals to Duke, and in 1982 the Pack beat Maryland but then fell to North Carolina in the semifinals.
The Pack vs. Maryland at the ACC Tournament
In Thursday's first round, NC State and Maryland will be meeting in the ACC Tournament for the 19th time. The Pack currently holds an 11-7 mark when playing the Terps in the league championship.
Maryland has won the last two times the two teams squared off in the ACC Tournament. The Terps won in first round action in 2009, 74-69, in Atlanta. In 2004, the Terps came back from 19 down at the half to down the Pack, 85-82, in the semifinals. NC State's last win over the Terps in the ACC Tournament came in 2002, as the Pack was the last team to defeat Maryland on its way to winning the National Championship, when the Pack downed No. 2 Maryland in the semifinals.
The Series Versus Maryland
Thursday's meeting at the ACC Tournament will mark the 148th in a series that dates back to the 1924-25 season. Maryland has a slight lead in the series, 75-72. NC State has won just five of the last 23 meetings, and eight of the last 41 dating back to the 1991-92 campaign.
Maryland has won eight straight in the series and NC State will be looking to defeat the Terrapins for the first time under Sidney Lowe. Maryland won the lone regular season game this year, and both matchups last season. In 2009, Maryland won in Raleigh, 71-60, and again at the ACC Tournament in Atlanta, 74-69. In 2008, Maryland won in College Park by 14 points. The Terps won both contests in 2007 as well, winning by 15 in Raleigh then by 20 in College Park.
Prior to 2007, the Wolfpack was on a three-game winning streak against the Terrapins, winning the only contest in 2006 (62-58 in Raleigh) and sweeping Maryland during the 2004-05 regular season for the first time since 1988-89. NC State holds the advantage in games played at a neutral site, 19-8.
Earlier This Season Season Versus Maryland
In College Park on Feb. 20, the score was tied 71-71 with 6:39 remaining, before Maryland went on a 12-1 run and pulled away from the Wolfpack for an 87-80 win. The Terps hit 58.2 percent (32-55) of their shots and an even more impressive 92.0 percent (23-25) from the free throw line. Maryland built a 10-point lead in the first half, but NC State closed the half on a 16-5 run to capture a 40- 38 lead at the break.
The point differential stayed was within five points for much of the second half, until the Terps put together that late run, holding NC State without a point for 4:37. Tracy Smith had 19 points and C.J. Leslie added 18 points and eight boards.
Last Time Out for NC State
After coming all the way back from a 13-point first-half deficit to twice take a one-point lead, NC State fell 72-62 to Florida State in the final game of the regular season at the RBC Center on Sunday.
The Seminoles jumped out to a 21-8 lead midway through the first half, but NC State cut that lead to 34-25 at the half. The Pack chipped away at the lead, and with an 8-0 run, tied the game at 50-50 with 9:11 left. NC State eventually took a 55-54 lead, but the Seminoles scored on their next six possessions, and then made seven of their final eight free throw attempts down the stretch. C.J. Leslie led the Pack with 12 points.
Sidney Lowe as a Coach in the ACC Tournament
Head coach Sidney Lowe is currently in his fifth ACC Tournament, holding a career record of 5-4. Lowe got his coaching career at the ACC Tournament off to a fast start in 2007, as the Pack won its first three games and advanced to the ACC Championship game in Tampa. NC State became only the second team in tournament history to start in the first round and advance to the finals (NC State also accomplished that feat in 1997).
That season was also the first time NC State won three straight tournament games against higher seeded squads. Lowe also became the first person in ACC history to win an ACC Tournament as a player and then coach in an ACC title game as well.
In 2008, the Pack was the 12th seed, and fell to Miami, 63-50 in Charlotte, and also lost 2009 in Atlanta, as the 10th seed to seventh-seeded Maryland.
Last season, the Pack once again made a strong run. In Greensboro, NC State entered the tournament as the 11th seed and advanced to the semifinals. The Pack downed sixth-seeded Clemson, 59-57, and then third-seeded Florida State, 58-52, before falling to seventh-seeded Georgia Tech, 57-54.
Lowe Finds Success in Tournaments
NC State has found success playing in tournaments under Sidney Lowe, as the Wolfpack captured team titles in two of three three in-season tournaments it has played in with Lowe as head coach, and also reached the championship game in a third.
The Pack started last season strong, posting four victories to win the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach. During the 2007-08 campaign, the Pack won the Old Spice Classic with a 3-0 record in Orlando. This season, NC State downed East Carolina and George Mason in the Charleston Classic, before falling to then-No. 20 Georgetown in the championship game.
In Lowe's five seasons at NC State, the Pack is 17-7 in both in-season and postseason tournaments. In postseason play under Lowe, the Pack advanced to the ACC Tournament finals and the NIT quarterfinals in his first season in 2007. Last season, NC State won a pair of games at the ACC Tournament to reach the semifinals, then advanced to the NIT second round.
Since 1997, NC State is 9-6 in games in the ACC Tournament when the Wolfpack is the No. 8 seed or lower. In comparison, the rest of the ACC is 16-35 when seeded eighth or lower.
In Lowe's first season in 2007, the No. 10 seed Pack advanced to the ACC Championship game, knocking off three higher-seeded teams. Last season, the Pack was the 11th seed and downed higher seeds Clemson and Florida State before falling to Georgia Tech in the semifinals
Pack Familiar with Greensboro Coliseum
NC State will feel comfortable at the ACC Tournament this week, as over the last two seasons the Pack has played five games in the Greensboro Coliseum. In those games, the Pack is 4-1.
The Pack went 2-1 in the ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum last year, reaching the semifinals. NC State started with defeating Clemson (59-57) and then Florida State (58-52), before falling to Georgia Tech (57-54). During the 2009-10 regular season, NC State defeated UNC Greensboro and the arena on New Year's Eve, 89-67.
This season, NC State downed Elon, 87-72, back on Jan. 5 in the Greensboro Coliseum. The Pack shot 62.5 percent (30- 48) from the floor, and came back from 10 down in the first half.
Something About Greensboro
In five career games at the Greensboro Coliseum, Scott Wood has made 18-of-29 three- pointers for a sizzling 62.1 percent. In those five games, Wood averaged 12.2 points a game.
In the regular season game at UNC Greensboro in the coliseum last season, Wood went 5-7 from three-point range and finished with 15 points.
Later in the season, Wood was named to the ACC All-Tournament squad. In the first round of the ACC Tournament against Clemson, Wood was a perfect 2-2 from the three-point line and finished with six points. In the quarterfinal win over Florida State, Wood went 6-of-10 from long range and scored a game-high 18 points. In the semifi- nal loss to Georgia Tech, he was 2-of-5 and had nine points.
Earlier this season when the Pack played Elon at the Greensboro Coliseum, Wood went 3-of-5 from long range and had 13 points in the Pack's 87-72 win.
Pack's Tough Schedule
NC State's 11 conference losses this season have been to teams that have a combined 66.5 (117- 59) winning percentage in conference play. Only Duke's opponents in its losses (70.8) post a higher winning percentage.
The Pack also faced a challenging non-conference slate, as four teams the Pack played earlier this season have been ranked for much of the season: No. 11 Syracuse, No. 13 Wisconsin, No. 16 Arizona, and No. 22 Georgetown.
In the Pack's 30 games this season it has been the nationally ranked freshman class that has led the offensive charge. Freshmen Lorenzo Brown, Ryan Harrow and C.J. Leslie have combined to score 40.8 percent of the team's total points, as all three rookies are averaging between 11.2 and 9.3 points per game, and rank among the Pack's top five scorers on the season.
Leslie is currently second at 11.2 points while Brown is fourth at 9.4 points and Harrow is fifth at 9.3 points a game.
The freshmen trio has also accounted for 54.0 percent of the team's assists and 33.3 percent of the team's rebounds.
The freshman class was ranked No. 5 nationally by both Rivals.com and Scout. com, while ESPN had the Pack at No. 7.
TSX: Maryland Report
The math for Maryland is now much more simple. Win and you're in. Anything short of an ACC tournament championship this week in Greensboro, N.C., likely means the Terrapins miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three years.
That's what happens when a team finishes the regular season with three consecutive losses, losses in five of the last seven games, and posts an 18-13 record and a 7-9 mark in the ACC. It's the fifth time in the last eight seasons the Terps have been below .500 in league play.
The latest blemish on a decreasingly impressive argument for inclusion in the NCAA field was a 74-60 home loss on March 5 to Virginia, a team the Terrapins beat by 24 points in late January.
"What we do now is get ready to play in the ACC tournament," said Maryland coach Gary Williams, who has taken 17 straight teams to postseason play, including 14 NCAA Tournaments. "I know no team has ever won four games (in the ACC tournament) since the expansion. At the same time, we're going down there to try to win the thing."
But Williams' team has faltered down the stretch, the exact opposite of what his last two teams did to reach the NCAA Tournament, including last year's squad that surged into a tie for the ACC regular-season title with eventual national champion Duke.
Against Virginia, the ACC's eighth-place team, Maryland got outshot, outrebounded and out-hustled in the regular-season finale. The Terps let Sammy Zeglinski hit six of seven 3-pointers en route to a career-high 25 points. Maryland forced just six turnovers, and the Terrapins' offense shot just 37.5 percent in the second half.
Still, the Terps, who had trailed by 13 points, crept within five with 5:14 to play and missed three opportunities to get closer. It's the kind of frustration that has marked the disappointing season but also gives the team hope it can flip a switch this week in Greensboro and capture its first ACC tournament crown since 2004. The seventh-seeded Terrapins meet No. 10 North Carolina State on March 10.
"We're going down to Greensboro to win the ACC championship," sophomore center Jordan Williams said. "That's what we want to do."
-- Entering the ACC tournament, Maryland needed one more victory to keep alive a streak of 14 consecutive seasons with at least 19 victories. The Terps have posted at least 17 wins in 17 straight years.
-- While Maryland's overall defense wasn't good against Virginia on March 5, the Terrapins did block a season-high 10 shots, including a career-high six by Jordan Williams.
--The March 5 starting lineup -- seniors Dino Gregory, Adrian Bowie, Cliff Tucker, sophomore center Jordan Williams and freshman point guard Terrell Stoglin -- was the eighth different combination Gary Williams has used. Only Gregory and Jordan Williams started every game, and Gary Williams said he would throw things wide open at the March 7 practice.
BY THE NUMBERS: 43 percent -- Seven of Maryland's last nine regular-season opponents shot 43 percent or better from the field, even though the Terps previously ranked among the national leaders in that category. The two teams that didn't reach that level were Longwood and North Carolina, which overcame that field-goal statistic by nabbing 20 offensive rebounds.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We played one of the toughest schedules in the country regardless. We've been in every game. We have one of the best coaches in the country, hands down, who (has) won the tournament. We have one of the best players in the country, hands down. I think Terrell (Stoglin) is one of the top freshmen. So we've got the players to do it. -- Freshman guard Pe'Shon Howard, on the Terrapins' chances of winning the ACC tournament.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
--vs. North Carolina State, ACC tournament first round, Greensboro, N.C., March 10
KEY MATCHUPS: Sharpshooter Scott Wood gave the Terps all they wanted with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range in the teams' previous meeting this season. Look for Maryland to play its best perimeter defender, likely Sean Mosley or Adrian Bowie, on Wood.
Maryland shot 57.7 percent in the second half to pull away for an 87-80 home win in that Feb. 20 meeting. Jordan Williams had 26 points and Terrell Stoglin had 25. N.C. State got 19 from F Tracy Smith and 18 from freshman C.J. Leslie, both interior players, but 3-point specialists have killed the Terps down the stretch.
Maryland's current eight-game winning streak in the series is the longest ever for the Terps in the rivalry, but the Pack own a 17-7 advantage on neutral courts. Gary Williams would argue the ACC tournament, in Greensboro, hardly qualifies as a neutral court.
FUTURES MARKET: Junior center Berend Weijs, the 6-foot-10 Dutchman, gave the Terps a lift off the bench that helped in the rally against Virginia. The rail-thin Weijs hit his only shot -- a jump hook -- and blocked a shot.
Freshman Mychal Parker, who has played the least of Maryland's healthy scholarship players this year, has surged lately in practice, too, and he saw 10 minutes against the Cavs.
-- Sophomore Jordan Williams had a team-high 17 points against Virginia, but his six rebounds were an 11-game low for the big center. With 359 boards this season through March 6, he should pass Joe Smith's 362 in the next game for the third-best rebounding season in Maryland history. Len Elmore's 412 boards in 1973-74 top the chart.
-- Senior F Dino Gregory had 15 points in his final home game. Gregory, who averaged just 2.8 points in his career prior to this season, had scored in double figures in six of his last eight games through March 6, and he was tied for fourth on the team with a 9.0 ppg scoring average.
-- Senior G Adrian Bowie had a steal against Virginia, the seventh straight game he had at least one theft. His 124 career steals through March 6 were 17th all-time in Maryland history.