NC State ACC Tournament Notebook

NC State will enter the 2013 ACC Tournament as the No. 5 seed. The Wolfpack faces No. 12 seed Virginia Tech today in the opening round.

NC State has played 114 games in the ACC Tournament, and enters the 60th annual event with a 65-49 (.570) 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 ACC Tournament is being played in Greensboro for the 24th time, and the Pack currently holds a record of 23-21 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 sixth time since 2003. The Pack has gone 7-5 in its last five trips to Greensboro, including an ACC Tournament finals appearance in 2003.

In his second season, the Pack has posted back-to-back 20+ win campaigns for the first time since 2005-06 and 2006-07. After posting 24 wins last season, the second-most for a Pack rookie head coach, and 22 wins so far this season, his 46 combined wins are the most in back-to-back years since 1987-88 and 1988-89 (46 wins).

Mark Gottfried has brought a fast-paced, high energy offense to NC State as evidenced by the team's scoring numbers. The Wolfpack currently ranks second in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and is 15th nationally, in scoring with 77.7 points per game. State has already scored at least 80 points in 18 contests this season - the highest total for a Wolfpack squad since 1990-91 (20 in 31 games).

Mark Gottfried is bringing top-level talent to Raleigh, as both of his recruiting classes have been ranked in the top-10 nationally.

Last year, having just seven months till the fall signing period, Gottfried brought in the No. 5 recruiting class in the nation, including three McDonald's All-Americans. It marked the first time the Wolfpack had three McDonald's All-Americans in the same class since 1979.

Gottfried followed up with three more recruits signed in November and that class currently ranks ninth nationally and once again boasts a McDonald's All-American.

Gottfried came to NC State with the reputation of being a first-class recruiter. In three of his final four seasons at Alabama, Gottfried's recruiting classes were nationally ranked: 10th in 2005, 27th in 2007, and 16th in 2008.

This year marks the seventh time that NC State enters the ACC Tournament as the fifth-seeded team. The Pack posts a 5-6 record as the fifth seed entering the 2013 tournament.

Last season, the Pack rolled to the semifinals as the fifth seed, picking up wins over 12th-seeded Boston College (78-57) and fourth-seeded Virginia (67-64), before falling to top-seeded North Carolina in the semifinals (69-67).

The Pack also played as the fifth seed in 1999, 1977, 1972, 1963, and 1957.

The Pack will be facing the 12th seed at the ACC Tournament for only the third time. Last season, the Pack downed 12th-seeded Boston College, 78-57.

In 2006, the fourth-seeded Pack fell to Wake Forest in the quarterfinals, 82-71.

Thursday's matchup in the ACC Tournament will be the 51st meeting all-time between NC State and Virginia Tech. The Pack currently holds a 36-14 edge in a series which dates back to 1914-15.

NC State holds a 20-5 edge in games played in Raleigh, 11-7 mark in Blacksburg, and a 5-2 advantage in neutral site affairs. Through the years, NC State has had more success against the Hokies than any other current member of the ACC, with a 72.0 winning percentage.

Earlier This Season Versus Virginia Tech
The Pack hit 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute of overtime to seal a 90-86 overtime victory over Virginia Tech in Raleigh on Feb. 16 in the only matchup between the teams this season.

Scott Wood scored a team-high 22 points. NC State also got double figure scoring from five other players: 16 from C.J. Leslie, 15 from Lorenzo Brown and Tyler Lewis and T.J. Warren added 13 and 12, respectively. Richard Howell posted a double-double, with 10 points and 16 rebounds.

NC State and Virginia Tech will be meeting in the ACC Tournament for only the second time. The Pack won the previous matchup, as 10thseed NC State upset third-seeded Virginia Tech, 79-71, in the 2007 semifinals in Tampa.

Mark Gottfried in the ACC Tournament Head coach Mark Gottfried is making his second appearance at the ACC Tournament, after guiding the Pack to the semifinals last year in Atlanta.

The Pack entered as the fifth seed last year, and knocked off 12th seed Boston College (78-57) and then 4th seed Virginia (67-64), before falling to top-seed North Carolina in the semifinals, 69-67.

Gottfried joined Everett Case, Press Maravich, Herb Sendek and Sidney Lowe as Wolfpack coaches to win their first two games of their inaugural ACC Tournament.

NC State will feel comfortable at the ACC Tournament this week, as the Pack's five upperclassmen (Richard Howell, Scott Wood, Jordan Vandenberg, Lorenzo Brown, and C.J. Leslie) have combined to play 20 games in the building, posting a 4-2 mark in those six games.

The Pack went 2-1 in the 2010 ACC Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum, reaching the semifinals. NC State started by defeating Clemson (59-57) and then Florida State (58- 52), before falling to Georgia Tech (57-54). Then-freshmen Howell, Wood and Vandenberg each played in all three games.

In 2011, the Pack fell in the first round to Maryland, as all five current upperclassmen started that contest.

During the 2009-10 regular season, NC State defeated UNC Greensboro at the arena on New Year's Eve, 89-67. In 2011, the Pack downed Elon, 87-72, during the season as well.

In six career games at the Greensboro Coliseum, Scott Wood has made 18-of-35 three-pointers for a sizzling 51.4 percent. In those six games, Wood averaged 10.8 points a game.

This season marks the third ACC Tournament Wood has played in the Greensboro Coliseum. As a freshman in 2009-10, he was named to the ACC All-Tournament squad in helping the Pack to the semifinals. In the first round against Clemson, he shot a perfect 2-2 from the three-point line and finished with six points. In the quarterfinal win over Florida State, Wood shot 6-of-10 from long range and scored a game-high 18 points. In the semifinal loss to Georgia Tech, he was 2-of-5 and had nine points.

In 2011, the Pack lost in the first round of the ACC Tournament to Maryland, with Wood limited to four points.

Wood has also played two regular season games at the Greensboro Coliseum, scoring 15 points as a freshman against UNC Greensboro, then 13 points as a sophomore against Elon.

As freshmen at the 2011 ACC Tournament, Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie had a short stay and a rough go in the 75-67 first round loss to Maryland in Greensboro.

In the loss to the Terps, Brown was 3-of-13 from the field, and had eight points in 28 minutes. Leslie was 2-of-9 from the field, and scored five points in 19 minutes, although he did pull down 11 rebounds.

Last season was much different in Atlanta, as the pushed the Pack to wins over Boston College and then Virginia before the Pack fell in the semifinals to North Carolina 69-67.

Leslie posted team-best averages of 17.3 points and 10.7 rebounds and shot 69.7 percent (23-33) from the field in the three games. He finished with double-doubles in the wins over Boston College (11-11) and Virginia (19-14), and had 22 points in the loss to the Tar Heels despite fouling out with 8:03 left.

Brown was the conductor of the Pack's offense, averaging 14.3 points and 7.3 assists. Brown also shot the ball well in the Pack's three games, hitting 55.6 percent (15-27) from the field and 60.0 percent (3-5) from long range.

The two improved from averaging 6.5 points and shooting just 22.7 percent (5-22) from the field in 2011, to averaging 31.7 points a game and shooting 63.3 percent (38-60) at last year's tournament.

For their efforts, Leslie was named first-team All-ACC Tournament while Brown was second-team.

In the current RPI, NC State sits at No. 28. The Pack posts three wins against teams currently in the RPI top-50. The Pack currently holds the 36th-toughest strength of schedule.

In the current BPI rankings, the Pack is 20th, with the 15th-toughest schedule.

A total of four members of the Wolfpack earned ACC accolades for 2012-13.

Senior Richard Howell nabbed All-ACC first team honors. He was the Pack's first, first-team selection since Julius Hodge in 2004.

Juniors Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie were named to the ACC's second and third teams respectively. Freshman T.J. Warren was named to the ACC's All-Freshman Team as well.

The four players cited tied Duke for the most by one ACC squad this season.

Head coach Mark Gottfried has had an impressive start to his NC State career.

The Pack picked up its 22nd win of the season in the home finale against Wake Forest. After posting 24 wins last season, the Pack has back-to-back 20+ win seasons for the first time since 2005-06 and 2006-07.

Gottfried has now won more games in his first two seasons with the Pack (46) than any coach in school history with the exception of Everett Case (55) in 1947 and 1948.

Overall, the 46 combined wins over the last two seasons are the most in back-to-back years since 1987-88 and 1988-89 (46 wins). If the Pack picks up its 47th win in the ACC Tournament, it will be the most in back-to-back years since winning 48 in 1982 and 1983.

The Pack's 22 wins are the most entering the ACC Tournament since 1988 (23).

Under first year head coach Mark Gottfried last season, the Pack won six of its final eight games en route to a Sweet 16 appearance.

History seems to be repeating itself this year. NC State won six of its last eight games to close out the regular season, and won 11 conference games after starting out 5-5.

Throughout the season, NC State's offensive attack has been balanced, with different players stepping up at different times.

Each of the Pack's starting five is averaging between 14.9-12.1 points per game. NC State is the only team nationally to have five players all average at least 12.0 points a game and is one of just seven teams to have five players average double figures.

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