East Carolina (10-2) at NC State (8-2)
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 21, 12 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: PNC Arena (19,700) -- Raleigh, North Carolina. Television: RSN. Home Record: ECU 6-1, NCSU 7-1. Away Record: ECU 1-1, NCSU 1-1. Neutral Record: ECU 3-0, NCSU 0-0. Conference Record: ECU 0-0, NCSU 0-0. Series Record: NC State leads, 19-1.
GAME NOTES: The NC State Wolfpack will try to continue their dominance of the East Carolina Pirates when the two squads meet up for a non-conference clash at PNC Arena.
NC State has dominated the head-to-head series with ECU by winning 19 of the 20 all-time meetings.
NCSU enters this matchup seeking a seventh consecutive victory. The Wolfpack were in action on Wednesday night as they took down Tennessee on the road, 65-58. They're now back PNC Arena where they have won seven of eight bouts this season.
Meanwhile, ECU has gotten on a roll with wins in six of its last seven, including four straight. Most recently, the Pirates claimed a 103-94 victory over VMI on Thursday. That contest wrapped up a five-game homestand for the Pirates, who are a respectable 4-1 outside of Greenville this season.
ECU is off to its best start under fourth-year coach Jeff Lebo. Against VMI earlier this week, six of the seven players who suited up reached double figures in the scoring column. Caleb White and Prince Williams both notched career-high scoring efforts, as White led all scorers with 24 points, and Williams finished with 22. Akeem Richmond was next in line with 18 points, while Michael Zangari finished with 17, and Brandan Stith posted a double- double off the bench with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Pirates shot 55.6 percent as a team, continuing an offensive trend that has seen them average 85.6 points through 12 games.
NCSU boasts the ACC's leading scorer in sophomore forward T.J. Warren, a 54.4- percent shooter from the floor who is averaging 23.1 points and a team-best 7.2 rebounds per game. Anthony Barber (12.0 ppg) and Desmond Lee (10.7 ppg, 4.2 rpg) have also made steady contributions, but make no mistake, the focal point of the offense is Warren, who can play with his back to the basket and also beat defenders off the dribble. In Wednesday's road win over Tennessee, he scored 21 points and pulled down 11 boards, as the Wolfpack led from start to finish in picking up their first road win of the season.
Both of these teams are playing well heading into this matchup, but the Pirates face a tough challenge trying to contain Warren in NC State's building.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: NC State 85, East Carolina 79
12/21 11:05:01 ET