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NC State heads to Virginia hoping to salvage a series split

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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 10 Virginia at Georgia Tech Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NC State is back at it in Charlottesville on Wednesday night hoping to split the season series with Virginia. The Wolfpack played the Cavaliers tough in Raleigh, and that one was very much in doubt down the stretch before UVA used a 12-2 run to pull away.

State did some good things in that one, namely dominating the boards: the Pack grabbed 34% of its own misses, while limiting UVA to an offensive rebounding rate of 13%. State also hit about 49% of its two-point shots, which is a solid effort against UVA’s defense.

Unfortunately, NC State shot just 4-14 from beyond the arc, didn’t get much of anything at the free throw line, and finished -1 in turnover margin. Jericole Hellems had a big game, scoring 23 on 9-15 shooting but nobody else on the team was in double figures. The Pack is going to need more than one guy to step up offensively.

Virginia is the best shooting team in the league though by its own high standards didn’t do anything special in Raleigh. A big difference, though, was that the Cavaliers got 22 free throw attempts and canned 20 of them.

State can’t afford to put an elite free throw shooting team like that on the line so much, just for starters, and it will need to take good care of the glass once again. Beyond that, you have to cross your fingers that the Cavs aren’t going to be lights out from the field. They are more than capable of burying teams with their shooting alone.

KenPom likes UVA by 10.