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Team Wolf Blood falls in TBT debut, 74-65

The NC State alums didn’t have the firepower they needed in order to advance.

NC State v Louisville Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

NC State’s alumni team fell in the first round of The Basketball Tournament on Saturday afternoon, ending its dreams of winning the $1 million first-place prize. Wolf Blood lost by a 74-65 to Category 5, a team of Miami alums.

The original iteration of Wolf Blood included both Cat Barber and Richard Howell, but neither were available once the tournament started, and they were conspicuous in their absence. Abdul-Malik Abu and Torin Dorn played well, but they just didn’t have enough help.

Four Factors

... Wolf Blood Category 5
... Wolf Blood Category 5
eFG% 50.8 58.3
TO% 15.6 22.7
OR% 22.2 20.0
FTR 11.3 33.3

Pace and Efficiency

Category 5 74 70 105.7 92.9
Wolf Blood 65 70 92.9 105.7

Wolf Blood’s lack of a true point guard was apparent, and this was not a team that could endure a cold shooting effort from Scott Wood, who was just 1-6 from three. The team shot just 5-22 from outside, while the Miami group shot 9-25.

Abu was a clear mismatch in the paint, and given that it’s easy to imagine that Richard Howell would have made a big difference as well—especially on the glass, where Wolf Blood wasn’t able to create many second-chance opportunities.

They played pretty well in the first quarter, but Category 5 was clearly the better team the rest of the way. Shooting was the entire difference in this game, as Category 5 was better from two, three, and the line.

It was a bit disappointing, but hardly a shocking result given Wolf Blood’s limitations. Still, it was fun to see these guys playing together, and I hope this marks the beginning of a new tradition. If they can keep Barber and Howell in the fold next summer, this team could do some damage.