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NC State 83, Evil Empire 79

Box Score

NC StateFour FactorseFG%69.8Turnover Rate30.2Off Reb Rate33.3FTM/FGA53.5UNCFour FactorseFG%51.6Turnover Rate16.5Off Reb Rate31.4FTM/FGA24.2

-- Here is what we have learned about Psycho Technical from the game's announcers: he has no talent. His will, however, has All-American talent. He has so much will that he has to let a little bit of it out of his body during games, and that's why his mouth is always open. His will is so prodigious that we must take every opportunity to talk about it. He has so many intangibles that they're almost tangible. He has such a passion and a presence on the court that it brings a tear to your eye. For this, this is how the game is meant to be played. Tyler is an emotional dynamo, an artist whose implement of choice happens to be a basketball, an interpretive dancer whose torso says "offensive foul" and whose feet say "travel." This, friends, is basketball in its purest form. Anything short of our unfettered admiration for the gift given us by Hansbrough every night would simply be wrong. He gives his all for us--kills himself on the court for us so that we might find a more joyful existence, if only for a few hours--and the least we can do is repay the favor. You are an American hero, Tyler, truly a king among men. We salute you.

-- I'm not sure what's more astonishing, the 69.8% shooting, the fact that we turned the ball over on 30% of our possessions and it didn't matter, or the fact that we outrebounded them. Rebounding in ACC games:

 OR% DR%
NCSU Avg 25.3 62.6
vs. UNC 33.3 68.6

Getting the better of such a great rebounding team (the Heels are probably the best rebounding team we'll see all year) is no small potatoes. Carolina came into Saturday grabbing about 41% of their misses in conference play but only managed to grab 31.4% against the Pack. And with them not turning the ball over much, limiting their second opportunities was obviously a key to victory.

-- The game had 73 possessions, putting State's offensive efficiency at 113.9. We scored more pts/possession against Wake Forest, but when you consider how much better Carolina's defense is, I don't think there's any question that yesterday was our best offensive showing in conference play. Turnovers were the only thing that kept us from having truly staggering numbers. It's nice payback since the last time the Heels were here, they had an offensive performance for the ages.

-- If prior to the game you'd've told me that Carolina would be +10 in the turnovers department, I'd have said there's no way we can overcome that (I also wouldn't have been suprised). Apparently, though, there is a way: ridiculously good shooting.

-- Brandon Costner: another game, another complete rebounding effort--both his offensive and defensive rebounding percentages were excellent.

-- Engin Atsur's value couldn't have been better illustrated than it was yesterday. Even at 70%, he's integral to the offense. He assisted on 44% of his teammates' baskets while he was on the court, and he hit several crucial free throws.

-- It helps to bear the following in mind: NC State is not an NCAA tournament team. NC State is not an NCAA tournament team. Any time you're tempted to look at the schedule and say, "all these games are winnable," just repeat that phrase over and over again. NC State is not an NCAA tournament team. Things can change, of course, but right now it's best to look at this week as one made possible by abnormally hot shooting--a combined 63.6 effective FG% in the Tech and UNC games. I hate to be Wet Blanket Guy, but there you go. We're still the 10th best team in the conference. And still the only two games on the schedule we should even think about maybe expecting to win are Miami and Wake Forest.

-- The win boils down to great shooting. It wasn't the color of Sidney Lowe's jacket, it wasn't "treating this game like a big game" or any of the other assorted bits of hogwash that people are running with today. It was sweet, sweet good fortune. It was Courtney Fells taking bad shots and having them go in for once. It was Engin Atsur and Ben McCauley displaying an eerily-psychic connection. It was lucky bounces and surprisingly generous officials.