NC State (23-12) vs. Georgetown (24-8)
Sunday, March 18, 12:15 p.m. (ET)
The Sports Network
By T.J. Wiseley, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Nationwide Arena (19,500) -- Columbus, Ohio. Television: CBS. NCAA Tournament Record: NC State 33-21, Georgetown 46-26. Series Record: NC State leads, 4-2.
GAME NOTES: The Georgetown Hoyas will look to continue their defense of the Midwest Region's third-seed, battling the red-hot Wolfpack of NC State this afternoon at Nationwide Arena.
The Hoyas did as expected on Friday against Belmont, dispatching the Bruins 74-59 to advance to the NCAA Tournament's third round. Georgetown improved to 24-8 overall with the win, and no doubt helped to ease any lingering pain left from the 72-70 double-overtime loss to Cincinnati in the Big East Tournament back on March 8.
As for 11th-seeded NC State, the Wolfpack returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six years but showed little signs of rust with an impressive 79-65 upset of sixth-seeded San Diego State on Friday to advance to the field of 32.
The winner of today's contest will advance to meet either No. 2 Kansas or No. 10 Purdue next Friday. NC State owns a 4-2 edge over the Hoyas in the brief all-time series between the two programs.
The Wolfpack shot 58.5 percent from the field overall and used a 10-for-14 effort at the foul line down the stretch to outlast San Diego State in Friday's 14-point verdict. The Wolfpack played especially stingy at the other end of the court as well, limiting SDSU to just a 37.7 percent clip that included only 8-of-23 from beyond the arc. Richard Howell registered 22 points to pace NC State in the win, while Lorenzo Brown tallied 17 points to go with nine rebounds and eight assists. C.J. Leslie and Scott Wood got into the mix as well, finishing with 15 and 10 points, respectively, for the Wolfpack.
NC State currently boasts five players with a double-digit scoring tally, beginning with Leslie and his 14.6 points per game. Leslie also grabs 7.4 rebounds per contest. Brown follows with a 12.8 ppg mark in addition to leading the squad in assists, with 224 dishes. Wood checks in at 12.4 ppg, while Howell and Williams have been responsible for 11.1 and 10.5 ppg, respectively, with the former leading the squad on the glass with 9.1 rpg. The Wolfpack shoot at a solid 46.6 percent as a team, and have respectable numbers from both beyond the arc (35.5 percent) as well as at the foul line (70.7 percent).
Senior guard Jason Clark posted a game-high 21 points, leading three players in double figures, in Georgetown's win over Belmont. The Hoyas controlled the entire first-half of the meeting, albeit for Belmont jumping out to a 2-0 lead at the 19:21 mark. A 16-4 run midway through the frame helped the Hoyas to a 36-27 advantage heading into the break, and the Hoyas then shot at a blistering 69.6 percent clip over the final 20 minutes en route to the 15- point triumph. The Hoyas converted 61.2 percent of their attempts from the field overall, a mark punctuated via a dominating 44-20 besting of Belmont in the paint. The Hoyas also won the battle of the boards by a 32-24 margin, and kept Belmont in check at the other end of the court to the tune of 38.9 percent from the floor. Otto Porter added 16 points and pulled down a team- high eight rebounds for the Hoyas, while Henry Sims logged 15 points.
The Hoyas rank second in the Big East, and 16th nationally, in scoring defense, allowing only 59.2 ppg. In the clubs last 11 games, the opposition has been stifled to 59.0 ppg, and Georgetown has held adversaries to under 60 points 18 times this season. At the other end of the court, the Hoyas are paced by Clark (14.1 ppg), while Hollis Thompson and Sims also check in at double figures with 12.5 and 11.8 ppg, respectively. The Hoyas have made good on an impressive 46.7 percent of their attempts from the floor collectively this year, and average 69.2 ppg.
The Wolfpack looked good against SDSU, but the Hoyas are a completely different type of competition. NC State has not met many defenses that are on par with Georgetown this season, and expect that inexperience to show big time today.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Georgetown 71, NC State 58
03/18 10:32:37 ET