If NC State was feeling any pressure tonight, that was never apparent for a second as the Wolfpack started the game on a 15-0 run and made an embarrassment of Duke, which needed almost eight minutes to get on the scoreboard.
When you wrong-foot a team for that long, you can see the building mental struggle, where every possession becomes 30 seconds of please-don’t-screw-up. That was Duke’s night.
Pace and Efficiency
The story of this game is that State exerted immense game pressure on Duke immediately, and Duke folded. The Blue Devils were working against a double-figure deficit nearly the entire game and they responded by turning the ball over on nearly 30% of their possessions. They shot poorly, and they weren’t any good on the glass. They got shook and they died.
Duke still has top-five arrogance, but lacks the actual talent to carry that through.
State got great games from Baby T and Jarkel Joiner, and it’s not a secret at this point that when they’re both good, NC State is really good. It’s ridiculous how much fun this team can be when both of those guys are cooking. State needs them to take the next month personally.
This was pretty close to a must-have game in early January. Good first step. Also a lot of fun.
Now these guys need to go nab a road game.