What, Syracuse again? It feels like NC State just played these guys like a week ago. Since the Wolfpack and Orange met in Syracuse, the Pack has a blowout win over Boston College and the Orange have a 17-point loss at Clemson.
NC State’s first half performance in the first meeting was a thing of beauty, and with a nine-point lead at the break, State had pushed its win probability to about 60%. Then the rest of the game happened. NC State scored only nine points over the initial 10 minutes of the second half, allowing Syracuse to claw back into the lead and take the game from there.
This was State’s first game without Devon Daniels, and there were positives, stagnant second half aside: Manny Bates went for 17 and 14, Jericole Hellems was 9-17 inside the arc, and Braxton Beverly made multiple three-pointers for just the third time in league play.
State shot 55% inside the arc while grabbing 35% of its missed shots. And in general, State took good care of the basketball. The approach against Syracuse’s zone was good, and in the first half the execution matched it. With a little more consistency—and maybe not going oh-fer beyond the arc for a half—there’s no reason why NC State can’t come away with some revenge Tuesday night.
The Pack would love to force a few more miscues this time around—the Orange only turned it over 15% of the time in the last meeting. Ball security is a strength of the Syracuse offense, though. Being a bit more disruptive while also doing a better job on the defensive glass against what is typically a poor offensive rebounding team would go a long way for the Wolfpack.
KenPom likes NC State by one.