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The Door Closed Again

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Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Now there were, ahem, issues outside of NC State's control in this game; let's go ahead and get that out of the way.

I thought they officiating was an embarrassment at both ends of the floor, and by the time NC State was earning a string of touch foul calls in the second half I had no idea what the hell qualified as a foul and what didn't. This is a big-picture issue for the ACC and college basketball in general and it really makes for a terrible viewing experience, but it's also largely beside the point today.

NC State left a lot of points at the free throw line, and instead of taking full control of the game in the second half, poor decisions and a failure to capitalize on good opportunities kept Florida State within striking distance and eventually facilitated the Seminoles' rally. Richard Howell dribbled a ball off his shoe out of bounds on a fast break. Jordan Vandenberg missed a relatively easy put-back dunk. This came in the danger zone segment of the show for Florida State, and we let the Seminoles off the hook.

The rebounding effort needed to be better in the first half. We needed Lorenzo Brown to be assertive scoring the ball in the second half the way he was over the first 20 minutes. And Calvin Leslie has got to find a way to keep himself under control when things go south. His technical foul, along with Richard Howell's incredibly dumb and completely earned third foul, altered the trajectory of the game. It forced NC State not only to give Vandenberg extended minutes, it also made a transition to zone defense necessary. The Pack's effort wasn't bad, but these circumstances created inevitable issues at the defensive end, and that ultimately proved a big factor in the outcome.

Oh well. Maryland has to win at Virginia on Sunday in order from NC State to get the four seed and the bye, but that's probably not gonna happen. So prepare for another dose of Thursday action, as per usual.

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