|Off Reb Rate||34.3||23.1|
One of my primary concerns coming into this matchup was UNC's ability to offensive rebound--the Heels have been really good in this area under Roy Williams, and this is something that's helped Carolina to bury the Wolfpack in past meetings. Fortunately, second-chance points were really never much of a worry in Saturday's game, as State did a fantastic job on the boards. I don't know if it was the energy from the crowd or what, but it was very refreshing to see the Pack shut down a good offensive rebounding team.
The rebounding was one reason why NC State managed to build a big lead in the first half, as the Pack collected 45% of its misses while limiting the Heels to less than 22% of theirs. Continued strong work on the defensive glass helped State fend off potential disaster in the second half. NC State turned the ball over 12 times over the final 20 minutes, while Carolina shot 68.4% (eFG) from the field. In many cases, those circumstances result in a loss for UNC's (or anyone's) opponent, but this was a rather unusual situation.
NC State built a lead of nearly 30 points before the onslaught began, and again, State's ability to limit second- chance opportunities was crucial. Carolina had a hell of a final 13 minutes, but the Heels needed absolutely everything to go right.