NC State and Syracuse will meet for the third time this season this time in the 2021 New York Life ACC Tournament. Tipoff is slated for 12 pm inside the Greensboro Colesium and can be seen on the ACC Network.
NC State (13-9 overall) will be looking for their sixth straight win, but to do so the Wolfpack will have to defeat a Syracuse (15-8 overall) team that has already defeated the Wolfpack twice in their earlier regular season meetings.
Both matchups came within a 10-day span. The Orange took round one in Syracuse in a 76-73 thriller on January 31st before heading down to Raleigh handing the Wolfpack a 77-68 defeat on February 9th.
Keys To Victory:
NC State: Knockdown open shots against 2-3 zone. Use Cole Hellems in the middle to break down the zone. Guard Buddy Boeheim.
Syracuse: Limit turnovers against State’s defense. Get offensive production from someone other than Boeheim. Force State into bad outside shots.
- NC State freshman guards Cam Hayes and Shakeel Moore are both from Greensboro. Hayes attended Ben L. Smith High School as a freshman and sophomore before finishing up his prep career at Greensboro Day School. Shakeel Moore attended Ragsdale High School as a freshman before transferring to Piedmont Classical High School. As a child, Hayes would attend the ACC Tournament when it was in Greensboro.
- NC State has a 73-56 all-time record in the ACC Tournament, including 25-23 when it is held in Greensboro. The Pack has won at least one game in 10 of the last 12 times the ACC Tournament has been played in Greensboro, including the last four times it’s been held here. Last season, NC State scored a 73-58 win over Pitt on what turned out to be the final day of the college basketball season. 2011 was the last time NC State went one-and-done in an ACC Tournament held in Greensboro.
- Freshman Cam Hayes is playing his best basketball of the season. The Greensboro native has now scored in double figures in four of the last five games. Hayes had not scored in double figures in 12 straight games prior to this five-game stretch. He scored 11 points, passed out a career-best nine assists and had three steals in the win over Pitt on Feb. 17. He had 11 points, five assists and three steals in the win at Wake Forest on Feb. 20. In the win at UVA, Hayes scored 16 points, hitting three three-pointers and went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the final 43 seconds as the Pack snapped UVA’s 15-game home winning streak. He closed the regular season with a season-best 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting in the win at Notre Dame In the last five games, Hayes is averaging 12.8 points, 3.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game.
- Senior guard Braxton Beverly is four points away from becoming the 54th member of the 1,000 point club at NC State. He also has 297 career assists and needs just seven more to break into the top-20 in the NC State record book for career assists.
- Force at least 15 turnovers. When NC State forces an opponent into 15 or more turnovers this season the Pack is 10-1. When its opponent has less than 15 turnovers, NC State is 3-8. In the Pack’s 13 wins this season, opponents are averaging 17.5 turnovers per game. In its nine losses, NC State’s opponents average just 12.6 turnovers.
- When the Pack’s defense is stealing the ball and converting it into points NC State is tough to beat. The Pack is 10-0 when it scores 19 or more points off opponent turnovers this season, but just 3-9 when it scores 18 points or less off opponent turnovers.
- Pack’s defense has held its last three opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the field. In the win at #15 Virginia, NC State held the ACC’s top field goal percentage team to just 37.0 percent from the field. It was the lowest shooting percentage for an NC State opponent this season … for four days until the Pack held Pitt to just 34.5 percent shooting in the Pack’s win. In the win over Notre Dame last Wednesday, the Pack held Notre Dame to 37.5% shooting. NC State’s defense has been especially potent in the first half. In the opening 20 minutes of the last three games, NC State’s opponents are combining to shoot 31.5% from the field, including just 23.1% from long-range.
NC State vs Syracuse:
- Wednesday marks the 16th all-time meeting between the two programs.
- Syracuse leads the all-time series, 9-6, and the Orange has won both meetings this season.
- This is the second-ever meeting between the two programs in the ACC Tournament. In 2014, seventh-seed NC State advanced to the ACC Tournament semifinals with a 66-63 win over 2nd-seed Syracuse. ACC Player of the Year, T.J. Warren, led the Pack with 28 points in the win.