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WBB: ACC Tournament Preview

USA TODAY Sports

The State's women's basketball team finished 7 and 11 in conference play; 15 and 15 overall; has an RPI of 108; and an SOS of 64 (Warren Nolan). It would be a safe bet if one took the position that State is either staying at home or going to the NCAA tournament. This is true because their record makes one conclude that they need to win the ACC Tournament to go to worthwhile post season play (NCAA or WNIT).

State although finishing conference play tied for seventh is seeded eight for tournament play. State plays Thursday at 2 p.m. against 9th seeded Clemson. State handled Clemson 79-45 at Reynolds in February and Sunday beat them at Clemson 63-47.

However, back in 2008 State played Clemson in the opening round of the ACC tournament as an 8th/9th seeds game and lost to them 65-60 after beating them at Reynolds on February 28th 89-57. The 2008 team was a much better team than the current one, and followed this loss with a 3 and 1 record in the WNIT. This game is no lock for State. Teams that get easily beaten twice during the regular season sometimes rise up in tournament play as the better team is thinking about their next opponent.

With a State win, their next opponent in this year's tournament will be Duke. The best I can write is that it is not Maryland because State cannot in any way handle Alyssa Thomas of Maryland. State, if they beat Clemson, can beat Duke. In the game in Raleigh this year the score was 44-45 Duke with eight minutes left. As of late, it is never that close that late in a game against Maryland. I might also point out that State beat Duke last year in the quarterfinals. My take is history will not repeat itself; however, lately I have been wrong with my picks.

MARISSA KASTANEK

Marissa Kastanek is winding down her career at State. She is one of my most favorite State basketball players. She recently was named to the 12 players first team head coaches' All-ACC team and was also named to the second team Blue Ribbon All-ACC team. As a junior she was a 2012 Academic All American (which I am sure she will be again) and was named to the first team All-ACC tournament team. As a freshman she was conference freshman of the year, a Full Court Press All-American and was named to the second team of the All ACC-tournament team.

I might add that in high school as a sophomore, she was state champion in the 800 meters.

Things have not worked out for Marissa with regard to team accomplishments. As a freshman she was instrumental in leading State to the NCAA tournament. Since, team accomplishments have not been so good. Sometimes things just work out that way.

I certainly will miss her next year.

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