Miami-Florida (14-14) at NC State (17-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 12 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: PNC Arena (19,772) -- Raleigh, North Carolina. Television: ACC Network. Home Record: Miami-Florida 7-8, NC State 12-5. Away Record: Miami-Florida 5-5, NC State 5-6. Neutral Record: Miami-Florida 2-1, NC State 0-0. Conference Record: Miami-Florida 5-10, NC State 7-6. Series Record: NC State leads, 10-5.
GAME NOTES: The NC State Wolfpack will try to recover from a heartbreaking loss to rival North Carolina, as they entertain the Miami-Florida Hurricanes in ACC action at PNC Arena on Saturday afternoon.
NC State nearly upset the 19th-ranked Tar Heels, before falling, 85-84, to their longtime rivals in overtime. The loss was the third in the last four games for the Wolfpack, which is a solid 17-11 overall, but just 7-8 against the rest of the ACC. They will visit another tough opponent next when they take on Pittsburgh.
Miami went up against 12th-ranked Virginia on Wednesday night and came limping away with a 65-40 setback. The Hurricanes had won back-to-back games before the embarrassing loss, and they are 14-14 overall and 5-10 against the rest of the conference. They will play their final road game of the season this Tuesday against Clemson.
T.J. Warren scored 27 points and Ralston Turner added 17 more, as NC State escaped with a 56-55 victory over Miami earlier this season. Miami swept the season series last year en route to the ACC title, but the Wolfpack have the all-time series edge (10-5).
Miami got to see just how dominant Virginia, which leads the country in scoring defense, can be. The Hurricanes shot a miserable 26.1 percent from the floor, including misses on all 12 of their attempts from beyond the arc. Erik Swoope finished with 13 points to pace the losing side.
Although Virginia's constant defensive pressure was the main cause, it is not as if Miami has normally scored well. In fact, the Hurricanes are dead last in the ACC in both scoring (60.9 ppg) and field goal percentage (.409). What has kept them from spiraling even further into the conference basement is their effort on defense, as they allow only 59.3 ppg on 39.9 percent shooting. Rion Brown (14.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is the only member of the team scoring in double figures, as well as being the top performer on the glass. Brown finished with 12 points against Virginia, but he needed 12 shots to reach that total
Marcus Paige and T.J. Warren traded 2-of-2 efforts at the free-throw line to force overtime after a hectic final minute of regulation between NC State and North Carolina. The Wolfpack got out to an 82-76 lead in the extra frame, but they did not record another field goal the rest of the way to succumb to the loss.
Warren (23.8 ppg, 7 rpg), who finished with a career-high 36 points in the loss to the Tar Heels, has been one of the real hidden gems in the country this season. The 6-foot-8 forward leads the ACC in scoring and he has been particularly effective in league play, netting at least 20 points in all but one conference matchup. Too much of the offense revolves around him, however, with Turner (10.4 ppg) the only other player on the roster scoring in double figures. Turner added 16 points against North Carolina. Tyler Lewis (4.1 ppg, 3.6 apg) and Anthony Barber (9.2 ppg, 3.6 apg) don't score much, but they are both strong passers.
With Warren on their side, the Wolfpack have an explosive offensive weapon that Miami will struggle to contain. Expect NC State to bounce back with a solid win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: NC State 74, Miami-Florida 66
03/01 10:16:30 ET