Gameday: NC State vs. Wake Forest

No. 4 seed NC State (21-8) faces No. 12 seed Wake Forest (16-15) in the quarterfinals of the 2006 ACC Tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. and the game is televised on Raycom.

Game Tracker I Premium Chat

Location: Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tip-Off: 2:00 p.m.

Television: Raycom JP

Radio: Airtime begins @ 1:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network

NC State Information


    Wake Forest Information


    Probable NC State Starters  
    03 Ilian Evtimov F 6-7 222 Sr. 13 Cameron Bennerman F 6-4 205 Sr. 33 Cedric Simmons C 6-9 233 So. 14 Engin Atsur G 6-3 200 Jr. 22 Tony Bethel G 6-2 185 Sr.

    Probable Wake Forest Starters
    4 Harvey Hale (6-2, 186, Fr.) 1 Justin Gray (6-2, 194, Sr.) 33 Trent Strickland (6-5, 216, Sr.) 00 Chris Ellis (6-9, 267, Sr.) 31 Eric Williams (6-9, 280, Sr.)

    Players to Watch
    NC State
    Tony Bethel --
    NC State played without Cameron Bennerman in the regular season finale against Wake Forest, and they are hoping he will be able to go today. The Wolfpack's leading scorer had 26 in the first regular matchup against the Deacons.

    Wake Forest
    Justin Gray --
    Gray is Wake's go-to player, and came up big against Florida State in the ACC first round game.


  • NC State has defeated either the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in three of the last four ACC Tournaments.
  • 1995-96 was the last time the Wolfpack had lost three straight games heading into the ACC Tournament.
  • NC State is ranked in the top 25 for the 15th straight week. The Wolfpack has not entered the ACC Tournament ranked in the AP top 25 since 1989.
  • The Wolfpack has played three double-overtime games this season (all in ACC action). That's the first time in school history the Pack has played three multiple OT games in a season.
  • Tony Bethel shot .489 from behind the three-point arc in ACC games to lead the league, despite going just 3-17 in the last three games.
  • Andrew Brackman has been the starting pitcher for the Wolfpack baseball team on the last two Sundays.
  • Herb Sendek needs one victory to tie Everett Case for 14th on the all-time ACC wins list.
  • The Wolfpack enters the ACC Tournament with 21 wins - most in a regular season since 1987-88.
  • The Wolfpack leads the ACC in field goal percentage defense (.407).
  • Cedric Simmons already ranks eighth in school history in career blocked shots (111).
  • NC State has controlled each of the last 16 tips (the last 10 games plus the tip in each of the six overtime periods). For the season, the Pack has controlled the tip in 24 of 29 games.

    NC State has played 100 games in the ACC Tournament and enters the 53rd annual ACC Tournament with a 58-42 (.580) all-time mark in the event, which dates back to 1954. The Pack is the third-winningest team in tournament history (behind North Carolina and Duke) and ranks third in tournament titles with 10.

    NC State has played 21 ACC Tournament games as the No. 4 seed, posting a 14-7 mark. The Wolfpack has played more games at that seed than at any other during the event, and has won the championship twice as a four seed (1954 and 1983).

    NC State enters the tournament as the fourth-seeded team for the third time under Herb Sendek, as the team was also seeded fourth in 2002 and 2003. The Wolfpack reached the finals in both of those tournaments before losing to Duke.

    The Wolfpack posts a 10-2 record versus the No. 5 seed in the ACC Tournament, 3-0 under Herb Sendek. The last time NC State played the five-seed was in 2003, when the Pack sent Georgia Tech home with a 71-65 win in the quarterfinals.

    NC State has never played the 12th seed in the ACC Tournament because ... well, there has never BEEN a 12th seed in the ACC Tournament before this year. When facing the LOWEST seeded team in the tournament however, the Wolfpack has posted a 4-1 record (1-1 versus the ninth seed after Georgia Tech entered the league, 3-0 versus the eight seed prior to that).

    NC STATE VERSUS FLORIDA STATE IN THE ACC TOURNEY (possible quarterfinal opponent)
    NC State has faced Florida State five times in the ACC Tournament, and this would mark the third consecutive year the two teams played in the league championships. The Wolfpack won the last two tourney matchups, as the second-seeded Pack won 76-71 against the seventh-seeded 'Noles in Greensboro in the 2004 quarterfinals. Last season, the seventh-seeded Wolfpack upended the 10th-seeded Seminoles, 70-54, in the first round in Washington, D.C.

    The Wolfpack posts a 4-1 mark against FSU in the tourney, winning games in 2005, 2004, 1998 and 1996 and dropping one in 1992, when the seventh-seeded Pack faced the second-seeded Seminoles.

    NC STATE VERSUS WAKE FOREST IN THE ACC TOURNEY (possible quarterfinal opponent)
    The Wolfpack has matched up with Wake Forest 11 times in ACC Tournament action, posting an 8-3 record.

    Last season, NC State knocked off the second-seeded Deacons in the quarterfinals, and in 2004 defeated top-seed WFU in the semifinals.

    NC State has won its last five meetings with Wake in the tourney, including a 3-0 mark under Herb Sendek.

    Herb Sendek is one of just three current ACC coaches who posts a winning record in the ACC Tournament. In his previous nine years, Sendek has guide the Wolfpack to an 13-9 mark, including seven wins in the last four years. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski is 39-15 in his 25 trips to the tournament, while Gary Williams is 14-14 in 16 attempts.

    Under Sendek, the Wolfpack has won at least one game in the ACC tourney in eighth of the last nine years and has won at least two games on four occasions. NC State has posted an 22-16 mark in overall postseason action Sendek's previous eight seasons. In addition to the 13-9 mark in the ACC Tournament, that mark includes a 4-4 mark in the NCAA Tournament and a 6-5 record in the NIT.

    The Wolfpack has advanced to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments and has made eight postseason appearances in Sendek's previous nine seasons.

    Herb Sendek has taken the Wolfpack to the ACC title game three times in his previous nine years. Of active league coaches, only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski has been to more title games (14). Maryland's Gary Williams is the only other league coach besides Sendek who has been to the title game, doing so in 2000 and 2004.

    Sendek is just the seventh coach in the storied history of the ACC to take at least three of his first seven teams to the ACC Tournament title game. In 2003, he became the first coach in the league to accomplish that feat in 20 years. Sendek's first Wolfpack squad (1997) and his 2002 and 2003 units all competed in the tourney championship game.

    Only three coaches in league history have ever taken four of their first eight teams to the title game: Duke's Vic Bubas, Wake Forest's Bones McKinney and NC State's Norm Sloan.

    In 2003, NC State became the first team in league history to knock out the number-one seed in the ACC Tournament in back-to-back seasons. The Wolfpack defeated eventual national champion and top-seeded Maryland in 2002 and knocked off No. 1 seed Wake Forest in 2003. Both of those number-one knockoffs came in the semifinals and helped the Pack advance to the title game against Duke both years.

    Graduate student Ilian Evtimov has started six of the eight ACC Tournament games he has played in, averaging 14.1 points in those contests. He has shot .507 from the field (36-71) and .523 (23-44) from behind the three-point arc in those tournament contests.

    Evtimov played in all three tourney games during his freshman campaign, when the Wolfpack knocked off top-seeded Maryland prior to the Terps run to the National Championship. He missed the next year with a knee injury, but came back to play in two games in the 2004 tournament and three games last season.

    "Shoush" has connected on 23 three-pointers in his three previous trips to the ACC Tournament and ranks sixth in league history in that category.

    After not losing back-to-back games all year, NC State finished the regular season with three consecutive losses. Two of those were to ranked teams and one went into double-overtime. In the third loss, the Pack was without leading scorer Cameron Bennerman, who was sitting out with a hamstring injury. Senior Ilian Evtimov has not been through a full practice since before being injured against Florida State on Feb. 15.

    Prior to falling to 11th-ranked Boston College three days after losing to No. 21 North Carolina, NC State's five previous losses had all been followed by wins and all three previous conference losses had been followed by double-digit wins. The margin of victory in the games following NC State's three previous conference losses had been 16.7 points before the two-point double-overtime loss to the Eagles.

    The Wolfpack followed the loss at then-No. 25 UNC (69-82) with a 78-60 win at then-No. 15 BC. After falling to then-top-ranked Duke (68-81), NC State won 92-82 over Wake Forest. And following the squad's loss at Georgia Tech (68-71), State thrashed Florida State, 86-64.

    The win over Florida State marked the Wolfpack's largest margin of victory over an ACC opponent since Feb. 2, 2003, when the Pack defeated Clemson, 78-56.

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