NC State ACC Tournament Notebook

NC State enters the 2009 ACC Tournament as the No. 10 seed, and the Wolfpack will face No. 7 seed Maryland tomorrow in the opening round. Tip-off is set for 7:00, and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

  • 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 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.

    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).

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

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