Gameday: NC State vs. Duke

NC State enters the 2007 ACC Tournament as the No. 10 seed, and the Wolfpack will face No. 7 seed Duke tonight in the opening round. Tip-off is set for 7:00, and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

Location: St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida

Tip-Off: 7:00 p.m.

Television: ESPN2

Radio: Airtime begins @ 6:30PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network

NC State Information

  • ROSTER
  • SCHEDULE
  • COACHING STAFF

    Duke Information

  • SCHEDULE
  • ROSTER
  • STATS

    NC State Projected Starting Line-up
    G- 04 Courtney Fells
    G- 11 Gavin Grant
    G- 14 Engin Atsur
    F- 33 Brandon Costner
    C- 34 Ben McCauley

    Duke Projected Starting Line-up
    F- 21 DeMarcus Nelson
    F- 42 Lance Thomas
    C- 02 Josh McRoberts
    G- 03 Greg Paulus
    G- 30 Jon Scheyer

    Players to Watch
    NC State
    Engin Atsur --
    Atsur didn't play in the first game against Duke, and the Pack will need a big effort from him to get past the Blue Devils.

    Duke
    Greg Paulus --
    Paulus has been on fire lately, as he has scored 20+ points in each of his last two games and has reached double-figures in scoring in 10 straight games and 14 of the last 15 contests.

    NC STATE GAME NOTES
    NOTING THE PACK

  • NC State has not been the lower seed in its opening game in the ACC Tournament since 2001, when seventh-seeded NC State played second- seeded Duke in the quarterfinals (L, 61-76 in Atlanta).
  • NC State's five starters have averaged in double figures throughout the season. If the averages continued to hold by season's end, it will mark the first time since 1977-78 that five players have averaged double figures for NC State.
  • NC State's conference opponents posted the best league record of any other league team's opposition, .539.
  • Brandon Costner was named to the ACC All-Freshman taem after setting a new freshmen scoring record this season with 474 thus far, his 217 rebounds are third-best.
  • Senior Engin Atsür is the 39th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark. He now has 1,100 points for his career - the 11th-best mark among current ACC players.

    NC STATE IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT
    NC State has played 100 games in the ACC Tournament and enters the 54th annual ACC Tournament with a 58-43 (.574) 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.

    THE PACK AS THE 10th SEED
    It's never happened! Prior to last season, the league never had more than 10 teams playing in the conference tournament.

    NC STATE VERSUS THE SEVENTH SEED
    Finishing as the 10th seed instead of the 11th seed bodes well for NC State if history means anything. As the 10th seed, the Wolfpack will face the seventh seed and as the 11th seed would have played the league's 6th-seeded squad.

    In its 53 ACC Tournament appearances, State has posted an 8-0 record against the teams in seventh-place, but has won just four of 10 games when the opposition is seeded sixth.

    NC STATE VS. DUKE (First Round Opponent)
    Thursday's matchup will mark the 227th meeting between NC State and Duke, with the Blue Devils holding a 131-95 lead in the series. The series is the second-longest in Wolfpack basketball history, dating back to the 1911-12 season. Earlier this season, the Wolfpack fell 56-79 to the Blue Devils in Raleigh, while Engin Atsür was still out with an injury.

    NC State has faced Duke 22 times in the ACC Tournament, more than any other conference team. NC State posts an 8-14 slate against Duke in the league tourney and has played the Blue Devils in the event in eight of the last 13 years. NC State's only win against Duke in those eight matchups was in 1997, when the Pack advanced from the play-in game to the finals. State met top-seeded Duke in the quarterfinals that year in Greensboro, winning 66-60.

    NC STATE VERSUS VIRGINIA (Potential Qquarterfinal Opponent)
    NC State holds a 78-53 advantage in the all-time series with Virginia, which dates back to the 1912-13 season. The Wolfpack dropped both contests earlier this season - including Virginia's first ACC game in the new Jones Arena. The two teams have met 13 times in ACC Tournament action, with the Wolfpack posting an 11-2 advantage.

    SIDNEY LOWE IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT
    Although Thursday's first-round game against Duke will mark Sidney Lowe's first game as a coach in the ACC Tournament, Lowe is no stranger to the league's big party.

    The Wolfpack's first-year head coach played in seven ACC Tournament games during his years in the red and white, with the Wolfpack posting a 4-3 record in those games.

    His most memorable ACC Tournament was certainly his last, as the Wolfpack defeated fifth-seeded Wake Forest, top-seeded UNC in overtime and second-seeded Virginia to advance to the NCAA Tournament and the eventual national title. A senior on that squad, Lowe scored a career-high 26 points in the win over UNC, while playing 44 minutes. For his career, he averaged 10.3 points in his seven ACC Tourney contests.

    PACK LACKS EXPERIENCE IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT
    Only four current Wolfpack players have ever seen action in an ACC Tournament, and two of the four have played in just one league tourney game and for just one minute each!

    Senior Engin Atsür and junior Gavin Grant are the only players who have played in multiple games in the ACC tourney.

    Atsür has started all six that he has played in, while Grant has played in four, starting one.

    SHOOT WELL, WIN GAMES
    It's a pretty simple formula, but an obvious one for Sidney Lowe's team in 2006-07. In the Wolfpack's 15 wins this season, the team is shooting .534 from the field (416-779). In the 14 losses, that mark slips to .435 (320-735).

    The Pack is scoring 14.7 more points in wins (78.3) than in losses (63.6). Those marks are even more striking in the Wolfpack's games against ACC opponents.

    In its five league victories, NC State has shot a blazing .584 on field goals (143-245), but stands at just .418 (240-574) in its 11 league losses.

    NC State has shot so well in its wins this season that it ranks third in the league in shooting percentage at .486 heading into the league tournament.

    NC STATE LOOKS FOR 1,500th WIN
    NC State enters the ACC Tournament ranked as the 24th-winningest program in the NCAA. The Wolfpack has gained 1,499 wins during its 97 years of basketball, putting it among the storied programs in the nation.

    DUKE GAME NOTES
    STORYLINES

  • Duke has won seven of the last eight ACC Tournament Championships including last year's title. Overall, Duke has posted an 80-37 record (.684) in the ACC Tournament. The Blue Devils have won six straight ACC Tournament games and 23 of their last 24 ACC Tournament contests.
  • Duke has won 16 tournament titles, the highest championship total in the league. Duke's conference tournament titles came in 1960, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1978, 1980, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
  • The Blue Devils enter this year's tournament as the seventh seed, their lowest seed since earning the ninth seed in the 1995 ACC Tournament. Duke topped N.C. State, 83-70, in the play-in game that year. Duke is 0-3 all-time when entering the tournament as the seventh seed.
  • Under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils are 42-15 in the ACC Tournament. With 10 tournament titles at Duke, Coach K is one of 12 coaches in ACC history with two or more league championships.
  • Duke leads the all-time series with N.C. State, 132-95, including a 14-8 mark in the ACC Tournament. The Blue Devils have won 20 of the last 22 meetings between the two schools, including a 79-56 victory at the RBC Center earlier this season.
  • The Blue Devils are 8-2 in ACC Tournament action against N.C. State under Krzyzewski, including wins in the 2002 and 2003 championship games.
  • Including Thursday's contest, Duke and N.C. State have met in six of the past nine ACC Tournaments. The Blue Devils have won the previous five meetings during this stretch by an average of 14.8 points per game.
  • Duke enters the ACC Tournament ranked 14th in the Ratings Percentage Index. The Blue Devils also have the third toughest strength of schedule according to CollegeRPI.com. Duke is 5-6 on the year against teams rated in the top 30 of the RPI and 9-9 against the top 50.
  • Greg Paulus has scored 20+ points in each of the last two games and has reached double-figures in scoring in 10 straight games and in 14 of the last 15 contests. Over the last 10 games, Paulus is averaging a team-high 16.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals per game. During that stretch, he is shooting 47.5 percent (56-of-118) from the field, including 48.4 percent (30-of-62) from three-point distance. On the year, he is shooting a team-high 45.6 percent (62-of-136) from three-point distance and ranks fifth in the ACC in three-point field goals (2.00 pg.).
  • Freshman Gerald Henderson will miss Thursday's game with N.C. State after being charged with a flagrant foul and being ejected at the end of Sunday's game with North Carolina. Because of the game officials' ruling, Henderson will serve an automatic one-game suspension.

    PHOTO GALLERY

    Paulus ....... McRoberts


    Nelson ....... Scheyer


    McClure ....... Henderson





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