March 4, 2012; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Dorian Finney-Smith (15) grabs a rebound over North Carolina State Wolfpack guard/forward C.J. Williams (21) during the first half at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-US PRESSWIRE
NC State took care of business in Blacksburg on Sunday night and delivered a 70-58 win to secure the No. 5 seed in next weekend's ACC tournament. That means the Wolfpack will open the conference tournament at 2:00 p.m. ET on Thursday against Boston College. So set your DVRs...I mean, set your illnesses to Thursday afternoon. I can tell already that you aren't looking so good. Is that a cough?
Virginia Tech's offense sputtered all night against NC State, whether the Pack was in man-to-man or zone. For once, the shift to zone in order to protect players in foul trouble did not backfire, as the Hokies were not only passive with the ball, they also missed a lot of the good looks they got during that stage of the second half.
Turnovers hurt the Wolfpack a lot in this game--it could have been over a lot sooner had the margin been closer--but they were so much better from the field, on the glass, and at the free throw line, that it didn't end up making much difference. The turnovers definitely kept VT in striking distance during the first half, but the Hokies' poor shooting eventually caught up to them.
Calvin Leslie was fantastic and almost unguardable tonight, and Scott Wood looked a lot like his old self. Richard Howell delivered some impressive win-solidifying buckets in the last four minutes, after he finally had a chance to warm up. Tyler Harris helped out with a couple of solid minutes and made a pair of free throws. The decision making wasn't great but I liked the effort all night.