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NC State gets the win it needed over UNCG to stay on track

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NOV 23 Arkansas-Little Rock at NC State Photo by John McCreary/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The important five-game stretch that began with Memphis on Thanksgiving has offered a lot of hazards for NC State, and UNCG accounted for its fair share. But the Wolfpack came through again, and while I’d have preferred Markell Johnson’s heroics were unnecessary, I’ll take ‘em just the same.

Factors

Four Factors NC State UNCG
Four Factors NC State UNCG
eFG% 68.9 50
TO% 19.6 18.1
OR% 9.5 46.2
FTR 13.2 20

Pace and Efficiency

Team Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
Team Pts Poss OFF_EFF DEF_EFF
NC State 80 66 121.2 116.7
UNCG 77 66 116.7 121.2

State was better than the final margin suggests—the Pack led for nearly 37 minutes and had a double-figure lead with 10 minutes remaining. That’s solid work on the road against a top-100 mid-major team. And it should look better come March, since UNCG is good enough to win its league and/or get to the NCAA tournament. This is the type of win NC State was missing last season.

The Wolfpack posted its best shooting performance of the season. When you shoot nearly 69%, good things tend to happen. When you do it on the road, ice cream tends to be in your future.

I wanted to see NC State go 3-2 at minimum during this stretch, and that is now assured, which for me at least takes some pressure off of the Pack’s trip to Auburn this week. That’s not a game anyone will expect State to win, and if they don’t, well, no harm done to the resume, either.

It may have been more important to avoid the missteps against Wisconsin, Wake Forest (which just knocked off Xavier in Winston-Salem), and UNCG—solid teams maybe, but not NCAA tournament at-large candidates down the line. For appearances, especially after last season, State needed that sweep.

Thanks for the final assist on that today, Markell.