Gameday: NC State vs. Virginia Tech

No. 10 seed NC State faces No. 3 Virginia Tech in the semifinals of the 2007 ACC Tournament. Tip-off is set for 4:00 pm, and the game will be televised on RLF/ESPN2.

Location: St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida

Tip-Off: 4:00 p.m.

Television: RLF/ESPN2

Radio: Airtime begins @ 3:30 PM on the Wolfpack Radio Network

NC State Information


    Virginia Tech Information


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

    Virginia Tech Projected Starting Line-up
    F- 13 Deron Washington
    F- 21 Lewis Witcher
    C- 33 Coleman Collins
    G- 22 Jamon Gordon
    G- 01 Zabian Dowdell

    Players to Watch
    NC State
    Engin Atsur --
    The Wolfpack's leader, Atsur controls NC State's offensive attack. Can he and the Wolfpack hold up against Virginia Tech's pressure?

    Virginia Tech
    Zabian Dowdell -- Dowdell struggled in both matchups during the regular season. He will be ready for the third meeting.

    NC State Game Notes

  • 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 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.

    It's never happened! Prior to last season, the league never had more than 10 teams playing in the conference tournament. Now the Pack is 2-0 as a 10th seed.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Virginia Tech Game Notes
    Two Virginia Tech Hokies have earned All-ACC honors this season ... Zabian Dowdell has been named to the All-ACC first team, as selected by members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association ... Teammate Jamon Gordon has been named to the third team All-ACC ... Dowdell was an honorable mention All-ACC in each of the Hokies' first two seasons in the league and this is Gordon's first time on any All-ACC team ... This is the first time that a Hokie has been named first team All-ACC ... The last time a Hokie was named to an all-conference first team was the 2003-04 season, when Bryant Matthews was named first team All-BIG EAST in the Hokies' final season in the league ... Both Dowdell and Gordon have also been named to the All-ACC Defensive team ... This is the second consecutive season that both Dowdell and Gordon have been named to the All-Defensive team ... Gordon and Dowdell led the ACC in steals this season ... The individual awards for the ACC were to be announced on Tuesday, March 6.

    Virginia Tech will make its third appearance in the ACC Tournament this week in Tampa, Fla. ... Tech finished the regular season 20-10 overall and 10-6 in ACC action ... Tech finished the regular season tied for third place and is the third seed in this season's tournament and will play the winner of the #6 Georgia Tech/#11 Wake Forest game ... The winner of that game will play the Hokies at 9:30 p.m. on Friday night.

    Virginia Tech makes its third appearance in the ACC Tournament and its first-ever ACC Tournament appearance in the St. Pete Times Forum ... This is the 54th ACC Tournament ... This is the first time the ACC Tournament has been held in Tampa, or any Florida city, for that matter ... Greensboro has hosted 21 ACC Tournaments ... The next two most-common venues are Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh (13) and the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte (11) ... Of the seven other arena's to host the event, two, the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland and the Omni in Atlanta, are no longer standing.


    Zabian Dowdell, Jamon Gordon

    Coleman Collins, Deron Washington

    A.D. Vassallo, Lewis Witcher

    (Photos courtesy AP/Getty)

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