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UNC 95, State 71

In my preview, I noted that Carolina had been extremely efficient against Virginia, and that if they had a similar performance against the Wolfpack, the game would never be close.

Not only did the Heels match their UVA game performance, they surpassed it. With about 67 possessions (the Wolfpack had the tempo right where they wanted it...), the Tarheels scored 95 points for an offensive efficiency of 141. Not a bad night at the gym.

State's offensive efficiency was just 105...needless to say, they picked the wrong night to be subpar. NC State shot 39% from the field (adjFG% of 43%) while the Heels shot 60% (adjFG% of 66.4%).

I mentioned that rebounds would be an important part of the game for NC State, and it turns out that the Wolfpack did a very good job on the boards:

NCSU OREB Rate: .429 (18/42)
UNC OREB Rate: .360 (9/25)

State exceeded its season average by over 20% and in the process kept the Heels under their average. But none of this mattered because...the Pack's defense failed them again. The Tarheels had way too many easy buckets.

I noted that North Carolina had a much higher turnover rate than NC State, but even that edge went to Carolina last night. The Heels turned it over just 9 times (9/67 = .134 turnover rate) while the Pack turned it over 13 times (13/67 = .194). UNC deserves a lot of credit for taking care of the ball, but I also think some blame has to go to State's defense, which just hasn't been forcing many turnovers lately (NCSU opponents are averaging 10 turnovers/game over the last three games).

Hopefully NC State will find a sympathetic Virginia team on Saturday.