Watch it at Woody's @ City Market in downtown Raleigh and get a 15% StateFans discount."> Watch it at Woody's @ City Market in downtown Raleigh and get a 15% StateFans discount.">

Wolfpack, Seminoles Meet Tonight in Quarterfinals

NC State (#2 19-8, 11-5) opens ACC Tournament play against Florida State (#7 18-12, 6-10). Game time is set for 7:00 and will be televised on ESPN2/JP. <P> Premium Subscribers can chat Live in the <a href=> Premium Chat Room</a> via the "Join Live Chat" Link. <P> <b>Watch it at <a href="">Woody's @ City Market</a> in downtown Raleigh and get a 15% StateFans discount.</b>

Scooter's ankle may keep him from playing

NC State (#2 19-8, 11-5) vs. Florida State (#7 18-12, 6-10)
7:00 pm
Greensboro Coliseum
Greensboro, NC
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"It's like our offense is going to a whole different level, to another state. We feel confident. We're not going to say this may be our year or anything. We're going to be certain in our statements. If we play hard and rebound and get after it defensively, we're going to win." – Julius Hodge 3/10/2004

FSU Scouting Report

NC State swept FSU in the regular season

NC State at FSU Recap Game 1: Levi Watkins hit a 3-pointer with just over a minute to go to put North Carolina State ahead to stay and help the Wolfpack beat Florida State 58-53 Jan. 11 in Tallahassee. Al Thornton's 3-pointer from the corner with 1:34 left capped a 9-0 run that gave Florida State a 53-52 lead, its only advantage of the second half. Watkins, who scored 13 points off the bench, gave the Wolfpack the lead back 25 seconds later. After Watkins' basket, Engin Atsur took the ball away from Florida State's Alexander Johnson - one of two Seminoles' turnovers in the final 52 seconds. Florida State then fouled Julius Hodge, who hit two free throws for a 57-53 lead with 27 seconds left. Atsur hit another free throw with 13 seconds left to complete the scoring as the Wolfpack won their 10th straight over Florida State dating back to Jan. 23, 1999.

FSU at NC State Recap Game 2: Engin Atsur scored a season-high 20 points while leading No. 21 N.C. State's shooting barrage in a 75-59 victory over Florida State. The 6-foot-3 Atsur had four 3-pointers as and the Pack finished 14-for-30 beyond the arc. Atsur's previous high was 16 points at Maryland three games ago. Julius Hodge added 16 points, while Marcus Melvin had 11 and Sherrill 10 as N.C. State won its fourth straight. N.C. State, the nation's top free throw shooting team, also was 21-for-26 from the line -- including making 17 in a row at one point. Florida State cut a large first-half deficit to 13 points at halftime. But N.C. State got a shot in the lane and 3-pointer from Melvin, and a layup by Sherrill to go up by 20 2 minutes into the second half. While it seemed as if the Wolfpack couldn't miss from outside, Florida State star Tim Pickett had a rough night. The ACC's fourth-leading scorer managed just five points, going 2-for-8 from the field as Sherrill shut down the senior.

Probable Starting 5: F – #22 G Tim Pickett (Sr 6-4 207), 16.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 2.4 stp... F – #54 Anthony Richardson (Jr 6-7 189), 8.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg... F – #32 Alexander Johnson (FR 6-10 250), 9.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg... G – #10 Nate Johnson (Sr 6-3 183), 5.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg... F – #1 Michael Joiner (Sr 6-7 238), 6.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg.

FSU's Top Gun: Florida State University senior Tim Pickett, who ranks first in the conference in 3-point field goals made (98), second in steals (75) and fifth in scoring (16.3), was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference First-Team as voted on by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Pickett finished third in the voting and is the second player in Seminole men's basketball history to earn All-ACC First-Team honors. Pickett, who ranks second in the ACC in steals with 75, was also named to the ACC All-Defensive team for the second consecutive season. He is the only repeat honoree from last year's team. Pickett has 157 steals in the last two seasons to mark the most by any conference player in the last two seasons.

FSU Finishes Strong: Florida State, which outscored 10 of its 16 ACC opponents in the second half of its conference games this season, leads the ACC in fewest points allowed in the second half of games this season. The Seminoles allow an average of 32.1 points per game after the intermission. NC State is also known to play extremely well after intermission. The first five minutes of the second period should be a battle of wills.

Fast Break Points

Florida State has won 897 games during the 57-year history of the program.
The Seminoles average 15.7 wins each season of the history of its program.
The Seminoles are looking for their first win against NC State since Jan. 23, 1999.
Florida State enters the 2004 ACC Tournament having won its first round tournament game in two consecutive and three of the last four years.
The Seminoles are 1-0 this season when playing on a neutral court.
FSU Improves Under Hamilton: Florida State enters Friday's game against NC State in the ACC Tournament with an 18-12 record - it has four more wins and five fewer losses this season than it did in 29 games last season. It marks the second consecutive season Leonard Hamilton has improved the Seminoles' win total in his first two seasons as head coach. The Seminoles won 14 games in Hamilton's first season after winning 12 the year before his arrival (+two wins) and have 18 wins this season (+four wins) marking an overall improvement of six wins since his arrival prior to the beginning of the 2002-03 season.

They Said it: Leonard Hamilton … "There's no doubt that we need to win as many games as possible when you're a team that's a kind of upstart-type team that's on the rise and you don't have a lot of tradition. We have to do something kind of out of the box to get everyone's attention. That's why these tournaments are important to us; it gives us a chance to go play a high quality team and gives us a chance to keep our postseason tournament dreams alive."

Herb Sendek… "We want to make sure that we take full advantage of this week. We'll worry about the NCAA Tournament next week. Right now, we have the real privilege of participating in the ACC Tournament. You don't want to live your life with one foot out the door always wanting to be at the next place. I know I don't take for granted the opportunity to participate in the ACC Tournament; that's very meaningful to me. All the preparation that goes into this week and then the actual event itself for me are totally consuming. I don't think it's always good to be into next week."

The Stakes: Florida State… The Seminoles hopes for an NCAA bid hinge on the possibility they put together a nice run in the ACC. They need to reach the finals or else it is "Hello, NIT!"

NC State… The Pack is playing for NCAA seeding. Many think the Pack has locked up a #4 seed at the minimum and with a nice run in the ACC tournament they could be seeded as high as #2. Also, with the Pack losing Sherrill, Melvin and possibly Hodge, next year could well be rebuilding year, so this may be the challenging year for NC State.

To Play or not to Play: Pickett is nursing a hyperextended right ankle and his playing status is questionable for the ACC tournament opener. His playing status is a game-time decision, makeing for some drama for the fans of the two teams. However, this is the ACC tournament and the Seminoles are playing for their NCAA Tournament lives tonight against No. 2-seeded NC State in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. Odds are Pickett will be ready to go come gametime of Friday.

Key Match-Up:Bennerman vs. Pickett. In the two games against the Pack this year, Tim Pickett has struggled to say the least. A big part of the defense came from Scooter Sherrill who is out for the match-up against the ‘Noles. The challenge is for Cam Bennerman to take his defense up to a new level if the Pack is to beat FSU. Bennerman has some high standards to meet that were set by Scooter and others. In January, he was 3 for 10 with a total of 10 points. In the February game at the RBC, Pickett was 2 for 8 and tallied 5 points. In fairness to Pickett, he was nursing an injury when he played in Raleigh this year. However, the fact remains that one of the major reasons NC State has experienced success against Florida State the last two years is a direct result of controlling the FSU star. In his four games against NC State, Pickett has averaged just 11.5 points and has shot only 31 percent (15-of-49) from the floor. If Tim is held to the NC State average, the Pack should advance to the semifinals.

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The Series:
NC State leads, 21-14
The Series In ACC Tournament: NC State leads, 2-1
Last Game: Feb. 10, 2004; NC State 75, Florida State 59
Last Florida State Win: Jan. 23, 1999; Florida State 71, NC State 59
Last NC State Win: Feb. 10, 2004; NC State 75, Florida State 59
Last Florida State Win In ACC Tourn: March 13, 1992; Florida State 93, NC State 80
Last NC State Win In ACC Tourn:  March 5, 1998; NC State 65, Florida State 63
Florida State vs. NC State, Current Streak: NC State has won 11

NC State scored 42 points from beyond the arc as they made 48% of their three pointers when the played Florida State in February.

No Name Pos Ht Wt Yr City (High School)
1 Michael Joiner F 6-7 238   SR Fayetteville, N.C./Seventy-First
4 Todd Galloway G 5-11 178   SO Baltimore, Md./Notre Dame (Va.) Academy
10 Nate Johnson G 6-3 183   SR Kansas City, Mo./Ruskin
12 Al Thornton F 6-7 208   FR Perry, Ga./Perry
20 Andrew Wilson G 6-6 206   SO Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison
21 Benson Callier G 6-6 204   SO St. Petersburg, Fla./George Junior (Pa.) Republic
22 Tim Pickett G 6-4 207   SR Daytona Beach, Fla./Daytona Beach Mainland
23 Von Wafer G 6-5 210   FR Homer, La./Heritage (Tex.) Christian
25 Romero Diego F 6-10 245   JR Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina
30 Orenn Fells F 6-6 196   SR Winston-Salem, N.C./Carver
32 Alexander Johnson F 6-10 250 FR Albany, Ga./Dougherty
33 Mike Mathews F/C 6-10 230   SR Blountstown/Florida High School
51 Adam Waleskowski F 6-8 240   JR Kettering, Ohio/Bishop Alter
54 Anthony Richardson F 6-7 189   JR Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road

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