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NC State faces Ayoka Lee and K-State with a Sweet Sixteen trip on the line

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Round two.

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 19 Div I Womens Championship - First Round - Washington State v Kansas State Photo by Nicholas Faulkner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There’s another Sweet Sixteen trip on the line for NC State today, it’s the final game of the season in Reynolds, and it’s a rematch—it was a little over four months ago when the Pack beat K-State 90-69 in Raleigh.

The Wildcats would go on to put together a respectable year, with highlight wins over Baylor and Oklahoma. (The Sooners are the four-seed in the Bridgeport Region.) Star center Ayoka Lee made headlines by scoring 61 points against the Sooners, setting a new NCAA single-game points record in the process.

2021-22 K-State

... Adj OE/DE (rk) eFG% TO% OR% 2FG% 3FG%
... Adj OE/DE (rk) eFG% TO% OR% 2FG% 3FG%
Offense 100.1 (68) 45.4 (153) 16.8 (66) 27.2 (281) 46.6 (95) 28.5 (264)
Defense 83.8 (35) 41.9 (54) 19.5 (156) 28.6 (187) 40.2 (38) 30.7 (169)

Everything K-State does revolves around Lee, who shoulders an enormous workload that allows her teammates to play off of her. Lee averages 22.3 points per game on 56% two-point shooting, and she attempts an average of 16 shots per game.

Shutting Lee down completely is not essential to beating Kansas State, as the Wolfpack showed in November: she scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in that meeting. The main thing is just not allowing her the sort of huge individual effort that could carry the Wildcats to an upset.

The only other Kansas State player averaging points in double figures is guard Serena Sundell, who is the team’s best three-point shooter at 35.7%.

It’s not a good shooting team in general, despite Lee’s influence, since everybody else struggles to score effectively inside the arc, while the Wildcats are thin on jump shooters. If NC State can take care of the defensive glass the way it did in the first meeting, the Pack should be fine.