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NC State loses at UNC, 86-76

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NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

NC State dropped its fourth straight basketball game on Saturday afternoon and its second straight by double-digits, this time an 86-76 decision against UNC.

State was dominated in the paint and yadda yadda yadda you’ve heard all this before. You hope to one day stop watching this exact game, and you will, because eventually the earth will be swallowed whole by an exploded sun. So there’s that. UNC outrebounded State 44-30 and 14-7 on the offensive glass, but it was less about the rebounding this time and more about how easy UNC got the ball inside in the halfcourt.

UNC faced little resistance getting the ball into the paint and scoring. Armando Bacot was 8-12 and Day’Ron Sharpe was 8-13 for UNC. At one point, UNC had scored 34 of its 53 points in the paint, which is not a recipe for success if you’re NC State. The Pack kept coming the whole game on offense but was never going to have enough to overcome how easy it was for UNC.

Devon Daniels was great, going 9-16 from the field and pouring in 21 points, but State is far too dependent on him as it gets little from its other guards. Beverly made some big effort plays to keep State in the game but is still out of position as the lead guard. Thomas Allen was 2/9, Cam Hayes had two points and no assists, and Shakeel Moore basically didn’t play for some reason.

Bates was definitely a bright spot on the interior, which was definitely not a bright spot as a whole for the Pack. The sophomore big was 5-6 from the field and notched seven blocks. He was the only thing all day that resembled interior defense.

The loss drops State to 6-5 overall and 2-4 in the ACC. There is a lot of basketball left to be played, but the Pack will need to snap this losing streak immediately or it will know its postseason fate well before Selection Sunday.