Tip-Off: 7:00 p.m.
Radio: Airtime begins @ 6:30 pm on the Wolfpack Radio Network
NC State Information
NC State Projected Starting Line-up
G- Javier Gonzalez
G- Courtney Fells
F- Brandon Costner
F- Tracy Smith
C- Ben McCauley
Maryland Projected Starting Line-up
G- Greivis Vasquez
G- Eric Hayes
F- Landon Milbourne
F- Dave Neal
F- Adrian Bowie
Players to Watch
Courtney Fells -- The senior had a poor outing against Maryland and he'll be looking to bounce back not only from that performance but also from a lingering groin injury.
Greivis Vasquez: Vasquez was named second team All-ACC Monday in balloting by ACSMA. It was the second straight year Vasquez was a second-team selection. He torched the Wolfpack for 33 points in the win in Raleigh.
NC State Game Notes
NC State has used its 'Big' lineup the last 11 ACC games, averaging 76.6 points.
Courtney Fells became the third member of this year's team to record 1,000 career points.
Fells, Brandon Costner, and Ben McCauley became only the second recruiting class to have three 1,000 points scorers.
Fells is averaging 13.5 points over his last 11 games, with 26 three-pointers.
McCauley and Costner also became only the eighth and ninth players in school history to record 1,000 career points, 500 career rebounds and 150 career assists.
McCauley and Costner are also the first set of teammates to record both 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.
McCauley is averaging 11.8 points and 8.6 rebounds over the last 10 games.
Tracy Smith has reached double figures in nine straight games, averaging 15.1 points.
Javier Gonzalez has averaged 12.0 points over the last seven games.
Over the last seven games, NC State has shot 51.0 percent from the field.
Off the bench, Dennis Horner has averaged 9.7 points over the last seven games, while C.J. Williams has scored 6.0 over the last eight games.
NC State is third in the ACC in FG percentage (.477) and also third in the ACC in 3FG percentage (.380).
NC State is fifth in the ACC in rebounding margin (+3.3), was last a year ago (-1.0).
NC State has won the rebounding battle in 20 of the 29 games this season.
NC STATE IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT
NC State has played 106 games all-time in the ACC Tournament, and enters the 56th annual ACC Tournament with a 61-45 (.575) 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 also ranks third in tournament titles with 10.
THE PACK AS THE 10TH SEED
This year marks the second time that NC State will enter the ACC Tournament as the 10th-seeded team. The ACC expanded to 12 teams for the 2005-06 season, and the Wolfpack was the tournament's 10th seed in Sidney Lowe's first season at the 2007 ACC Tournament.
The Pack went on a memorable run that season, playing four games in four days in Tampa. The run started with an overtime win over seventh-seeded No. 21 Duke in the first round. NC State then defeated No. 2 seed Virginia and No. 3 seed Virginia Tech to advance to its 17th championship game all-time. The Pack's luck would run out in the championship game against top-seeded No. 8 North Carolina, 89-80.
The 2007 NC State squad became only the second team in ACC Tournament history to play four games in four days (NC State also accomplished that feat in 1997).
THE PACK VERSUS THE 7TH SEED
NC State has fared extremely well in its previous matchups against the seventh seed in the ACC Tournament, as NC State currently posts a perfect record of 9-0 in such affairs. The only other seed the Pack has a perfect record against is the No. 10 seed (1-0).
The Pack's last win over the No. 7 seed was in 2007 against No. 21 Duke.
THE PACK IN FIRST ROUND ACTION
NC State will be playing in the first round of the ACC Tournament for the 10th time. The Pack is currently 5-4 in first round action. Sidney Lowe downed No. 21 Duke in 2007, and fell to Miami last season.
THE PACK IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT IN ATLANTA
This season marks only the fifth time the ACC Tournament has been played in Atlanta. The Pack has posted a record of 4-3 in its previous ACC Tournaments played in Atlanta. NC State's first trip to Atlanta was a memorable one, as the Pack won the 1983 ACC Tournament, with Sidney Lowe as its starting point guard. The Pack entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed, and defeated Wake Forest, North Carolina and Virginia for the title.
Since winning the ACC Tournament in 1983, the Pack has gone 1-3 in its last three trips to Atlanta for the tournament. In 1985, No. 3 seed NC State took out sixth seed Clemson, and then fell to No. 2 seed North Carolina in the semifinals.
The Pack's last two trips have both been one-and-dones. NC State entered the 1989 tournament as the top seed, but was upset by eighth-seeded Maryland. In the tournament's only other time at the Georgia Dome, No. 7 seed NC State fell to second seed Duke in 2001.
THE PACK VERSUS MARYLAND AT THE ACC TOURNAMENT
In Thursday's first round, NC State and Maryland will be meeting in the ACC Tournament for the 18th time. The Pack currently holds an 11-6 lead in such games, with the two teams splitting the last four contests.
Maryland won the last time the two teams squared off in the ACC Tournament, as the Teprs came back from 19 down at the half to down the Pack 85-82 in the 2004 semifinals.
NC State's last win over the Terps came in 2002, as the Pack was the last team to defeat Maryland on its way to winning their National Championship, when the Pack downed No. 2 Maryland in the semifinals.
THE SERIES VERSUS MARYLAND
Thursday's meeting will mark the 144rd in a series that dates back to the 1924-25 season. The Wolfpack holds a slight 72-71 advantage in the series. NC State has won just five of the last 19 meetings, and eight of the last 37 dating back to the 1991-92 campaign. Prior to that streak, the Pack had won nine of the previous 12 matchups.
Maryland has won four straight in the series by an average of 15.0 points, and NC State will be looking to defeat the Terrapins for the first time under Sidney Lowe.
Maryland won in Raleigh this year 71-60, and last season in College Park by 14 points. The Terps won both contests in 2007 as well, winning by 15 in Raleigh then by 20 in College Park. Prior to that season, the Wolfpack was on a three-game winning streak against the Terrapins, winning the only contest in 2006 (62-58 in Raleigh) and sweeping Maryland during the 2004-05 regular season for the first time since 1988-89. The Pack has won two of the last four games in the Comcast Center (wins in 2004 and 2005). Before that, NC State had lost 14 in a row at Maryland.
EARLIER THIS SEASON VERSUS MARYLAND
Maryland's Greivis Vasquez poured in 33 points, as the Terrapins defeated NC State 71-60 at the RBC Center on March 1. Maryland led 34- 25 with 4:06 to go in the first half, but the Pack would go on an 8-0 run to end the half and close it to 34-33. NC State would grab its first and only lead of the game, 49-47 at the 9:15 mark of the second half, but Maryland eventually closed the game on a 24-11 run.
The Pack shot 50.0 percent (23-46) from the field, but Maryland's 3-2 zone defense limited the Pack to just 46 shots. Tracy Smith led the Pack with 19 points and nine rebounds, while point guard Javier Gonzalez had 11 points and five assists.
LAST TIME OUT FOR NC STATE
NC State would go 12:22 in the second half without a field goal, missing all 12 attempts in that span, as Miami defeated the Pack 72-64 in Coral Gables last Saturday. The Pack held Miami to just 25.8 percent (8-31) in the first half, and took a 30-21 lead into the lockerroom, but the Hurricanes would start the second half on a 10-0 run.
Javier Gonzalez hit a career-best five three-pointers, and led the Pack with 19 points. Courtney Fells sat out the game with a groin injury, and Trevor Ferguson replaced him in the lineup and scored five points in 25 minutes. Ferguson held Miami's Jack McClinton to just 3-of-15 from the field, but McClinton hit all 16 free throw attempts and finished with a game-high 24 points.
SIDNEY LOWE AS A COACH IN THE ACC TOURNAMENT
Head coach Sidney Lowe enters his third ACC Tournament with a career record of 3-2.
Lowe got his coaching career at the ACC Tournament off to a fast start in 2007, as the Pack won its first three games and advanced to the ACC Championship game in Tampa. NC State became only the second team in tournament history to start in the first round and advance to the finals (NC State also accomplished that feat in 1997).
Last year was also the first time NC State won three straight all against higher seeded squads. Lowe also became the first person in ACC history to win an ACC Tournament as a player and then coach in an ACC title game as well.
Last season, the Pack was the 12th seed, and fell to Miami, 63-50 in Charlotte.
PACK VERSUS RANKED FOES
The Pack's game at No. 13 Wake Forest on February 26 was the seventh ranked opponent for NC State this season, including the fifth on the road. NC State has posted a 1-6 mark against ranked foes so far this season after falling at Wake Forest.
NC State picked up its lone win over a ranked foe, when the Pack downed No. 7 Wake Forest 82-76 at the RBC Center on February 11. The Pack previously fell at No. 22 Davidson 72-67 in Charlotte, at No. 12 Clemson in the Pack's first ACC game, 63-51, and at No. 2 Duke, 73-56. The first ranked opponent to come to Raleigh was No. 5 North Carolina on January 31, with the Tar Heels winning 93-76. The Pack also fell at No. 3 UNC, 89-80 on February 18. In Coach Lowe's first two seasons, the Pack complied a record of 5-11 against all ranked foes. NC State was 2-5 at home, 1- 5 away, and 2-1 on a neutral court. One of Lowe's neutral site wins was against No. 21 Duke in the 2007 ACC Tournament.
FELLS MISSES TIME
Senior Courtney Fells has missed the last game and a half due to a groin injury he suffered in the win over Boston College. Fells sat out the game at Miami over the weekend, and all but one minute of the second half against BC. The injury occurred in the first half against the Eagles, as he played just 18 minutes. Fells previously missed almost four entire games this season with an ankle injury suffered in early December.
Maryland Game Notes
• Maryland is the 7th seed in the tournament for the 6th time (last time in 1990).
• Maryland will be attempting to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2006.
• Maryland was the 2004 ACC Tournament champion, winning from the No. 6 seed... The Terps dispatched 3rd-seeded Wake Forest, #2 NC State and top-seeded Duke on consecutive days to earn the title.
• Terrapin head coach Gary Williams is 15-17 in 32 ACC Tournament games while at Maryland.
Gary Williams' 20th Season
Head coach Gary Williams reaches another in a career filled with milestones when he coaches his alma mater for the 20th season in 2008-09... He is the 6th-winningest active head coach in NCAA Division I men's basketball with an overall record of 622-355 (.637)... He ranks 3rd all-time (2nd active) among coaches at ACC schools with 415 victories at Maryland, and also ranks 2nd among active league coaches with 172 ACC victories... Williams is the Terps' all-time winningest coach... He earned his 400th victory at his alma mater on 11/21 with an overtime win over Vermont... His 415 wins in 20 years are an average of 20.8 wins per season with the Terps... Maryland's 70-65 victory over Boston College (2/6/2008) gave Williams his 600th career victory... Only six other active head coaches in Division I have 600 career wins... Williams picked up his 400th victory at Maryland against Vermont (11/21)... The milestone came in dramatic fashion, as Vasquez buried a 3-pointer with 6 seconds left to force overtime... The Terps scored the fi rst 17 points of the extra period, earning the most lopsided OT victory in school history with a 17-2 edge in the extra session... Williams picked up the victory over former assistant Mike Lonergan, now in his 4th season as head coach at Vermont.
Milestones, Streaks, etc.
• Maryland has hit at least one 3-pointer in 350 consecutive games.
• The Terps are 62-6 in non-conference games in Comcast Center.
• Maryland has won at least 19 games in 12 straight seasons... A victory today over NC State would extend that streak.
• The Terps have made 15 consecutive postseason appearances.
• Maryland's last losing season came in 1992-93, the last season of devastating NCAA sanctions levied against previous staffs at Maryland... Each school in the ACC has had a losing season since the Terps fell below .500 some 15 seasons ago... In fact, 9 of the 11 ACC opponents have suffered through a losing season since the Terps won the NCAA title in 2002... Duke and UNC are the exceptions.
• Between 2004-05 and 2007-08, Maryland won 82 games, an average of 20.5 per season... That matches the number of wins that Gary Williams directed during the first four seasons (1994-97) of Maryland's run of 11 straight NCAA Tournaments.
A victory in the first round over NC State would put the Terrapins in the 7 p.m. quarterfinal matchup on Friday with 2nd-seeded Wake Forest... The Terrapins played the Demon Deacons to a 65-63 loss on March 3 at Comcast Center... Dave Neal made the most of Senior Night by leading Maryland with 19 points in that game... Maryland is in the same half of the ACC Tournament bracket with 3rd-seeded Duke, which will face the 9:30 p.m. quarterfinal on Friday against the winner of the late first-round game between No. 6-seed Boston College and 11th-seeded Virginia... The championship game of the tournament is at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
Maryland Among ACC's Best Last Ten Years
Maryland has been one of the top programs in the ACC over the past 10 seasons:
• With 107 wins since 1999, Maryland is 3rd among all ACC schools in regular-season wins.
• Head coach Gary Williams ranks 2nd among active ACC coaches with 172 career wins in league play.
• The Terps captured the 2002 ACC regular-season title & the 2004 ACC Tourney championship.
• Maryland owns the league's best record in games against Duke and North Carolina over the past 10-plus seasons. The Terps are 20-28 in games against Duke and Carolina since the 1998-99 season... No other ACC team has more than 14 wins against the Blue Devils and Tar Heels in that time.
Maryland vs. Ranked Teams
Under Gary Williams
Since Gary Williams took over in 1989-90, Maryland has 69 wins over Top-25 teams, including the 80-62 victory over then-5th-ranked Michigan State on Thanksgiving Night and an 88-85 overtime victory over #3 North Carolina.
• Williams is the nation's winningest active coach vs. top-ranked teams with seven career victories over a No. 1 opponent (6 at Maryland; 1 at Ohio State).
• Under Williams, Maryland has defeated 19 Top-5 opponents, 32 Top-10 opponents and the No. 1 team 6 times.
• Maryland has 21 wins over Top-10 teams the last 9 years.
• The Terps have defeated at least one Top-10 opponent in 16 of 20 seasons under Williams, including 13 straight.
• Williams has led victories over 1st-, 2nd- or 3rd-ranked teams in 8 of the last 10 seasons.
Between playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference (currently ranked 1st as a league in the Sagarin Computer Ratings) and facing three ranked teams in the 2008 Old Spice Classic, the Maryland men's basketball schedule is formidable:
• In this week's rankings, 5 Terrapin opponents for 2008-09 are currently ranked in the Top 12 in the Associated Press poll (#1 North Carolina, #7 Michigan State, #8 Wake Forest, #9 Duke, #12 Gonzaga)...
• 7 Terrapin opponents for 2008-09 are currently ranked among the Top 25 teams in the Associated Press poll (previous schools along with #17 Clemson and #22 Florida State).
• 8 Terrapin opponents for 2008-09 are either ranked or are receiving votes in the Associated Press poll, including American.
• Maryland has played 7 games against teams ranked in the Top-10 at the time of the contest... That's the most since the 2000-01 Final Four team played 10 Top-10 opponents.
• Maryland is the lone ACC team that will face conference home-and-home series with North Carolina and Duke... The Terps also play twice in the regular season against Miami.
Strong at The Line
Through games of 3/8, Maryland was 7th in the nation in team free-throw percentage... The Terps come into today's game at .768, ahead of the rest of the ACC (North Carolina is 2nd in the league at .763)... Of the seven Terps who have made at least 15 foul shots this year, six of them are hitting 71 percent or better at the line this season... Maryland has out-scored opponents at the line in 18 of 30 games this season (16-2 in those games)... Against Virginia Tech, the Terrapins made 24 of 26 (.923) shots from the foul line, including 22 of 23 in the second half... Landon Milbourne (6-6), Adrian Bowie (4-4), Eric Hayes (4-4) and Dino Gregory (2-2) had perfect games at the stripe... Maryland has had 12 games this season in which it's shot .800 or better from the floor and 3 games in which it's shot .900 or better. Through games of 3/1, Southern Utah led the nation with a .794 percentage... Maryland's school-record for team FT percentage for a season is .758, set in 1976.
Maryland is 47-47 all-time in overtime games... Maryland has played at least one overtime game in 15 of the last 17 seasons, including each of the last 7 years.
• Maryland's 89-74 OT win over Vermont (11/21/08) marked the largest winning margin in an overtime game for the Terps, who outscored the Catamounts 17-2, including the fi rst 17 points of the extra session.
• Maryland is 25-17 in overtime games played at home, including a 6-0 mark at Comcast Center... The most recent OT win came on 2/21/09 against 3rd-ranked North Carolina.
• The Terps are 16-16 in overtime games under Gary Williams.
• Maryland was 1-0 in overtime games last season after posting a 74-72 victory over Northeastern on 11/15/07.
Adept at Long Range
Maryland has proven to be one of the nation's most proficient 3-point shooting teams since the rule was instituted in 1987.
• Maryland has made at least one 3-pointer in 350 consecutive games.
• Maryland has failed to make a 3-pointer just twice in the last 419 games.
• The last game the Terps failed to make a 3-pointer was 1/7/1999 when Maryland went 0-for-7 from 3-point range in a 71-66 win at Virginia.
• Since Gary Williams took over, Maryland has hit a 3-pointer in 634 of 641 games.
• Since the rule was instituted in 1987, Maryland has hit at least one three-pointer in 691 of 700 games.
• Maryland made a school-record 217 treys in 2001-02.
• The Terps' top 3-point shooting percentage was .461 (122-for-290) in 1987-88.
• Maryland set new school records for most 3-pointers in a game (17) and most 3-point attempts (37) in 2006-07 against Missouri-Kansas City.