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Must Win For State

NC State (16-11, 6-8) looks for a huge conference win tonight against the Virginia Cavaliers (13-12, 4-10) in Charlottesville. <P><B><CENTER> <a href=>Premium Chat</a> | <a href="javascript:'', 'mbaskblGameTracker', 'toolbar=no,width=780,height=540'); void('');">GameTracker</a></b></center>

Location: University Hall in Charlottesville, Virginia

Tip-Off: 9:00 p.m.

Television: FSN

Radio: Airtime begins @ 8:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network

NC State Information

  • Roster
  • Schedule

    Virginia Information

  • Roster
  • Schedule

    NC State's Probable Starters

    G Tony Bethel 8.1 ppg 3.9 rpg
    G Engin Atsur 9.3 ppg 2.6 rpg
    G Julius Hodge 17.5 ppg 7.1 rpg
    F Ilian Evtimov 8.7 ppg 3.5 rpg
    C Jordan Collins 6.7 ppg 2.5 rpg

    Virginia's Probable Starters

    15 G T.J. Bannister 4.6 ppg 3.1 apg
    33 F Devin Smith 17.0 ppg 6.1 rpg
    43 F/C Elton Brown  13.8 ppg 8.9 rpg
    2 G J.R. Reynolds 10.3 ppg 2.6 rpg
    44 G Sean Singletary 10.1 ppg 4.1 apg

    Players to Watch

    NC State
    Julius Hodge --
    With two games remaining, the Wolfpack must get a strong effort from their senior leader.

    Sean Singletary --
    Freshman sensation was outstanding in the first game and he'll need to play well again for the Cavaliers to beat the Wolfpack.

    NC State Notes

  • EARLIER THIS SEASON VS. VIRGINIA: Feb. 5, 2005 in Raleigh: Sean Singletary hit a layup with 2.2 seconds left on the clock to lift Virginia to its first win in Raleigh since 1997, 64-62. Julius Hodge scored only six points and was held to under double-digits in scoring for the first time in 37 games. UVa outrebounded the Wolfpack by 11 boards and collected 18 points from its bench, compared to NCSU's 5. Four Cavaliers scored in double- digits, led by T.J. Bannister and Devin Smith who both had 14. Tony Bethel led the Pack with 20 points, while Cedric Simmons added 16. The Pack shot a dismal .250 from three, converting only five of 20 attempts. UVa built a strong lead early, shooting near 61% in the first half. T h e Cavaliers led by as much as 16, but two free-throws from Andrew Brackman gave NC State the lead with 9:45 remaining.

  • HODGE SHINES VERSUS VIRGINIA: Despite breaking a string of 36 straight double-figure scoring games with just six points in the two-point loss to Virginia earlier this season, senior Julius Hodge posts one of his best scoring averages against any league school against the Cavaliers. In his seven career games versus UVA, State posts a 5-2 record.

    Hodge has averaged 17.4 points per game in seven starts versus Virginia, and has tallied 20 or more points in four of those contests. He has shot an incredible 60% from the field (41% from behind the three-point arc) against Virginia.

  • D-ING IT UP...: In recent games, the Wolfpack has used a tenacious defense to earn victories in three of its last four outings: at Georgia Tech, versus No. 22 Maryland and against Virginia Tech.

    In the last four games combined (including a 10-point loss to No. 2 North Carolina), the opposition has averaged just 62.3 points. Tech entered the contest averaging 76.6 points per game before posting the lowest scoring tally for a Wolfpack league opponent in four years with 51 points (Florida State scored just 46 points on Feb. 25, 2001). That total tied as the fifth lowest by by an ACC team during Herb Sendek's nine years.

    Maryland came into the RBC Center averaging 83 points per game, but was held 20 points under its normal total. Virginia Tech, which came into the game at State averaging 69.8 points, managed just 54 points in that Wolfpack win. Even North Carolina, which hung 81 on the Pack, was held nine points under its season average (90 points heading into the contest).

    The Wolfpack has given up 62.5 points per game in its six league wins, 77.6 in the eight losses.

  • ATSUR LIKES TO TRAVEL: Maybe being thousands of miles away from home makes playing away from the RBC Center a not-so-daunting task. But whatever the reason, Istanbul, Turkey native Engin Atsür has been a warrior for NC State in its ACC road games during his career.

    In his 15 career ACC road games, the sohpomore has averaged 11.5 (173 total) points on 54% shooting (59-109) and shot 54% (40-74) from behind the three-point arc.

  • BETTER AFTER THE BREAK: NC State was outscored in the second half of each of its first six games after the New Year, a stretch which included the West Virginia game and the first five ACC contests.

    The Wolfpack, which posted a 2-4 mark in those six games, was outscored 199-243 in the second half, an average of 33- 40.

    In the last nine games,however, the Wolfpack has reversed that trend. Beginning after the win at Maryland on Jan. 23, the Pack has outscored the opposition 335-308, an average of 37- 34.

    With the exception of the two losses to North Carolina, the Pack has outscored or tied its opponent in the second half in every game in that time span.

  • HOME SWEET HOME: In the past two months, NC State has taken 14 different flights and has spent countless hours on busses. The Feb. 13 game at Georgia Tech marked NC State's seventh ACC road game in 11 contests, its 11th game away from home in 16 games. Since then, the Pack has played three in a row at home for the first time since mid-December. After opening the season with eight home games, seven of the Pack's first 11 conference matchups were on the opponents home court.

    N C State and Clemson are the only ACC schools that played five of their first eight league games on the road this season. The game in Charlottesville will mark NC State's last road trip of the season. At the end of the regular season, NC State will have played back-to-back road games on five separate occasions.

    The good news, the Pack is closing out the season with four of its last five games at home - all ACC contests.

    Virginia Notes

  • THE GAME:Virginia enters tonight's game with a 13-12 overall record and a 4-10 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Cavaliers are coming off a 90-68 loss to sixth-ranked Wake Forest (Feb. 27) in Winston-Salem, N.C.

    NC State stands at 16-11 overall and 6-8 in the ACC. The Wolfpack is coming off a 74-54 victory over Virginia Tech (Feb. 26) in Raleigh, N.C.

  • SENIOR NIGHT: Tonight's game against NC State marks the final regular season home game at University Hall for two Cavaliers - captains Elton Brown and Devin Smith.

  • CAVALIERS AND WOLFPACK BATTLE TO THE WIRE: The history of the series between these two schools since the late 1970s has been one marked by many closely contested games. Since 1978, 40 of the 61 games have been decided by less than 10 points. UVa is 28-12 (.700) in those games.

    Virginia's last 10 wins (going back 10 seasons) over the Wolfpack have been by a combined 45 points (4.5/g).

    Since 1978, four games have been decided by one point, six by two points, seven by three points, three by four points and three by five points.

    It's curious to note in the long history of the series going back to the first meeting 92 years ago that only three games have gone to overtime. Virginia has been victorious in all three overtime contests. UVa won the first overtime game 81-73 in 1977-78 and won 84-82 in double overtime in 1995-96. In the most recent overtime affair, the Cavaliers won 82-79 in 1998-99. During one stretch (1985-1988) nine consecutive games were decided by nine points or less.

    In a bit of an aberration, 10 of the last 12 NC State wins in the series have been by double digits--67-54 in 1994, 74-55 in 1998, 82-72 in 1999, 76-65 in 2000, 90-80 in 2001, 85-68, 92-72 in 2002, 75-63 in 2003, and 86-69 and 79-63 last season. The exceptions were a 65-62 Wolfpack win on Jan. 12, 2000, and an 81-74 win on Jan. 5, 2002.

    Photo Gallery

    Elton Brown, Devin Smith

    Sean Singletary, Gary Forbes

    J.R. Reynolds, Pete Gillen

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