COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 16: Richard Howell #1 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack and teammate DeShawn Painter #0 fight for a rebound with Deshawn Stephens #23 of the San Diego State Aztecs during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 16, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
|Off Reb Rate||19.2||19.5|
NC State had one of its best offensive efforts of the season, which rendered San Diego State's defensive rebounding skills irrelevant, and the Pack pulled away in the second half for a surprisingly pain-free victory. San Diego State got Chase Tapley going in the second half, and Jamaal Franklin was the sort of hot/cold shoot-any-time guy we were told to expect, but their efforts didn't change the game's outlook over the final 20 minutes.
That's a testament to how good NC State was at the offensive end. On a different day, Tapley's unconscious display would have made a huge difference. As it was, the Aztecs still had to play defense, and they had absolutely no answer for Richard Howell or Calvin Leslie. Scott Wood warmed up a bit in the second half, and Lorenzo Brown, for the most part, did a fine job running the show.
Unofficially, the Pack had an offensive efficiency north of 120. Both teams took good care of the ball and rebounded well at the defensive end, and shooting percentage was the obvious difference in this one. Gotta make shots.
NC State will play the winner of Georgetown vs. Belmont on Sunday.
P.S. Consider this the Friday NCAA Tournament open thread.