Miami-Florida (17-15) vs. NC State (19-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 13, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Greensboro Coliseum (23,500) -- Greensboro, North Carolina. Television: ESPN. Home Record: Miami 8-8, NC State 13-6. Away Record: Miami 7-6, NC State 6-6. Neutral Record: Miami 2-1, NC State 0-0. Conference Record: Miami 7-11, NC State 9-9. Series Record: NC State leads, 10-7.
GAME NOTES: The seventh-seeded NC State Wolfpack begin postseason play as they take on the 10th-seeded Miami Hurricanes in second-round action of the ACC Tournament on Thursday evening at Greensboro Coliseum.
The winner of this game will take on second-seeded Syracuse in Friday's quarterfinal round.
The Hurricanes pulled off the sweep last season, capturing both the regular season and tournament crowns in the ACC. This season proved to be a much more difficult venture, as Miami finished just 7-11 in league play. The team was relegated to first-round action on Wednesday and outlasted Virginia Tech 57-53 to advance.
Mark Gottfried's Wolfpack were strong outside of the ACC this season, but were the epitome of average in conference play, needing back-to-back wins to close out the regular season just to finish at .500 in the ACC (9-9).
NC State holds a 10-7 series edge over Miami, as the two teams split a pair of regular-season matchups this season, each winning on its home floor.
The third time was the charm for Miami. After dropping both regular-season meetings with the Hokies, the Hurricanes were able to finally put one in the win column, with a four-point decision on Wednesday. Rion Brown was a horrific 3-of-13 from the floor, but still led the team in scoring with 15 points. Erik Swope and Davon Reed added 14 points each in support. Offense has not been a strength for Miami, which finished last in the conference in scoring (61.7 ppg) Scoring depth was a big issues for Jim Larranaga's squad this year. Brown and fellow guard Garrius Adams did what they could, finishing the regular season at 15.4 and 10.4 ppg, respectively.
Scoring wasn't really a problem for the Wolfpack this season at 71.2 ppg on .458 shooting (fifth in the league in both categories. A lot of that had to do with the play of sophomore sensation T.J. Warren. The 6-8 youngster took the ACC by storm this season, leading the league and ranking fourth nationally in scoring at an eye-popping 24.8 ppg, earning ACC Player of the Year, as well as First-Team honors. The real problem for Gottfried's squad is the lack of a supporting cast. Ralston Turner ranks a distant second on the team with 10.0 ppg, with Desmond Lee and Anthony Barber behind him at 8.9 ppg each.
The defending champs are still alive and have certainly proved that they can hang with NC State, with a one-point loss on the road in Raleigh and a 15- point win at home to open March. Still, Warren is a special player and will get the opportunity to shine under the postseason lights.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: NC State 69, Miami-Florida 64
03/13 10:37:34 ET