NOTES: ACC Tourney Begins Today For NC State

NC State opens the 2016 ACC Tournament today at noon against Wake Forest. Here are some pregame notes on the Wolfpack.

PACK OPENS ACC TOURNEY VS. WAKE FOREST 
The NC State men’s basketball team begins ACC Tournament play Tuesday at noon against No. 13 seed Wake Forest. The winner advances to Wednesday’s second round against No. 5 seed Duke. NC State and Wake Forest played twice during the regular season, with the home team winning each contest.

THE STARTING FIVE
1. ‘MARCH’ GOTTFRIED
Now is the time of year when, if history is any indication, Mark Gottfried will have the Wolfpack at its best. Under the fifth-year coach, the Wolfpack boasts a 20-11 record during the month of March. That total includes five NCAA Tournament victories and seven ACC Tournament wins. Dating back to 2014, NC State has an 11-5 record in March contests.

2. CAT’S A FIRST TEAMER
After posting a season rarely seen in ACC history, Cat Barber was voted first team All-ACC by both the media and the conference’s coaches. The 6-2 junior leads the ACC in scoring with 23.4 points per game (league-best 23.6 ppg in ACC play) and is on pace to become the second player in ACC history to average 23 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 4.0 apg (Kenny Anderson in 1990-91). Barber has a league-best eight games with 30 or more points, including six in ACC play. In NC State’s last game against Wake Forest on Feb. 13, Barber exploded for a career-high 38 points. Additionally, he is also leading the conference in free throws made (226) and minutes per game (38.68) and is third in free throw percentage (.866) and seventh in assists (4.37).

3. IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT
NC State owns a 70-52 all-time record in the ACC Tournament, including an 8-4 mark in the tourney against Wake Forest. Mark Gottfried is 7-4 in the ACC Tournament as head coach at NC State and owns a career record of 21-15 in conference tournament play (OVC, SEC, ACC). The Pack has won two tournament games in three of Gottfried’s four seasons.

4. THE WOLFPACK’S PATH INTO THE DANCE
In order to claim the ACC’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, the Wolfpack will have to win five games in five days. NC State’s next three opponents are set. Should the Wolfpack advance past Wake Forest Tuesday at noon, the Pack will play Duke Wednesday afternoon. A win over Duke on Wednesday would put the Pack into a Thursday afternoon game against No. 4 seed Notre Dame.

5. NC STATE-WAKE FOREST, EPISODE 244
In its basketball history, the Pack has neither played nor beaten any team any team more than Wake Forest. Tuesday’s tournament game will be the 244th meeting between the two schools, with NC State holding a 140-103 edge. The two rivals, located 104 miles apart, have played at least twice each year since the 1910-11 season except in 1929. This is the first time since 2006 NC State and Wake Forest will be meeting on a neutral court. Wake edged the Pack 82-71 in the 2006 ACC Tournament in Greensboro. The two teams also played in the 2005 ACC Tournament in Washington, D.C., with the Woflpack winning 81-65.

TOURNEY TIME IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL
This is the fifth time the Washington, D.C. area has hosted the ACC tourney. The event was held in Landover, Md., three times and once in Washington, D.C. In 1987, the Wolfpack was the No. 6 seed in Landover and won three games to capture the league tournament title. The last time the tournament was in Washington, D.C., was in 2005 and the Pack advanced to the semifinal before falling to Duke.

23 PPG / 4.5 RPG / 4.0 APG IN THE ACC
Cat Barber would be the second player in ACC history - joining Georgia Tech great Kenny Anderson - to average 23 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 4.0 apg in a season (assists became official stat in 1984):
Cat Barber (2015-16) 23.4 ppg 4.6 rpg 4.3 apg
Kenny Anderson (1989-90) 25.9 ppg 5.7 rpg 5.6 apg

CAT KEEPS GOING AND GOING
Cat Barber leads the ACC in minutes played and has been on the floor for 95.9 percent of NC State’s available minutes, which ranks second-highest in the nation. Barber has played 39 minutes or more in 22 games and hasn’t come out of 14 contests this season.

AT THE LINE SHOOTING 2...CAT BARBER
Wake Forest coach Danny Manning wasn’t lying when he called Cat Barber a “tough cover.” On Feb. 13, Barber slashed and darted around the Demon Deacons to the tune of 17-for-20 free throw shooting, including 17-for-18 in the second half. Barber has made 226 foul shots this season, a new single-season NC State record. His 226 made foul shots ranks fourth in the nation.

7TH IN THE NATION
Cat Barber ranks eighth in the nation in scoring and second among all players playing for Power 5 schools. Only Buddy Hield of Oklahoma (25.1) averages more points than Barber.

RECORD-BREAKING WOLFPACK
Sammy Ranzino made 224 foul shots in 1950-51, and that record stood until Cat Barber beat that mark with 226 this season. BeeJay Anya now owns 208 career blocked shots, passing Thurl Bailey’s mark of 207 blocks. Anya collected his 208th block at the 12:53 mark in the second half against Boston College, his 99th career game. 

STORIED CONFERENCE TOURNEY HISTORY
When the ACC was born, NC State was in charge. The Pack won the first three ACC titles (1954-56) and four of the first six. The ACC Tournament was held in Raleigh for the first 13 years of its existence. NC State has 10 ACC Tournament titles in its history, the last coming in 1987.

CAT’S CAREER
Cat Barber now has 1,427 career points, lifting him to 20th in NC State history. He needs 40 points to tie Scott Wood for 18th on State’s all-time list. Barber is sixth among active players (and tops among non-seniors) in the ACC in career scoring. He is also ninth in school history in career assists.

GOTTFRIED’S FIRST TEAMERS
With Cat Barber being voted first team All-ACC, NC State has now had three first team all-league players under Mark Gottfried. Richard Howell (2013), T.J. Warren (2014) and Barber have all been voted as first teamers. NC State had zero first team All-ACC players from 2005- 2012. CAT vs. WAKE FOREST In six career games against Wake Forest, Cat Barber has averaged 20.8 points with .410 shooting from 3-point range. Barber began his sophomore-season renaissance with a standout 28-point effort last year. His career best of 38 points came in State’s 99-88 win over Wake Forest last month.

ACADEMIC ALL-ACC
Maverick Rowan, third on the team with 12.5 points per game, was voted Academic All-ACC this year. Rowan is the first Pack player in seven years to be academic all-league (Johnny Thomas, 2009).

LENGTH AND (LESS) WIDTH
BeeJay Anya has lost nearly 75 pounds since enrolling at NC State in 2013. But it’s his wingspan that sets him apart. He has a measured wingspan of 7-9, the longest wingspan recorded for a non-7-foot player in the NBA Draft Express database for basketball prospects. Only 7-6 Mamadou N’Ddiaye (UC-Irvine) has a longer listed wingspan.

THEY SHOULD STILL BE IN HIGH SCHOOL
Maverick Rowan, a 6-7 freshman wing, and reserve Shaun Kirk should both be preparing for their high school prom. Rowan and Kirk both classified up to the 2015 class, and could both be competing in high school ball. 


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