No. 14 N.C. State at Maryland 7 p.m., ESPN2

Life after Duke, UNC wins hasn'’t been so kind to Wolfpack

jgiglio@newsobserver.comJanuary 16, 2013 

  • Up ... and down In the past 20 seasons, N.C. State is 1-12 in its next ACC game after beating UNC or Duke. Season;Beat;Next ACC game 2009-10;No. 7 Duke;L@ Maryland 88-64 2006-07;No. 3 UNC;L @ GT 74-65 2003-04;No. 1 Duke;L @ Clemson 60-55 2002-03;No. 3 Duke;W UNC 86-77 2002-03;UNC;L @ Maryland 75-60 2002-03;@ UNC;L Maryland 68-65 2001-02;@ UNC;L Wake 82-81 2001-02;UNC;L @ Wake 83-71 1997-98;@ No. 1 UNC;L Clemson 77-72 1995-96;No. 8 UNC;L Virginia 84-82 1994-95;No. 1 UNC;L Virginia 76-65 1994-95;@ Duke;L Maryland 84-67 1994-95;Duke;L @ Maryland 84-71

— Lorenzo Brown is happy that N.C. State knocked off No. 1 Duke on Saturday and that the Wolfpack is 3-0 in the ACC, but he’s also tired of talking about the last game.

A road game with Maryland, maybe the last trip by N.C. State to the Comcast Center for the foreseeable future, awaits the No. 14 Wolfpack (14-2) on Wednesday night, and that’s where the Wolfpack’s focus is, Brown said.

“I’m happy we won, but we still have more games to go,” Brown said. “It’s a regular game, it wasn’t the national championship or anything.”

Brown said the players haven’t talked about Duke since Saturday’s 84-76 win at PNC Arena. Getting past wins over Duke or North Carolina has been a problem for N.C. State over the past 20 years.

Since the start of the 1992-93 season, N.C. State has 14 regular-season wins over Duke and UNC. In its next ACC game, N.C. State’s record is 1-12, with the one win coming against UNC in 2002-03, which was preceded by a home win over No. 3 Duke.

None of the post-Duke/UNC losses were to the Blue Devils or Tar Heels, but five were to Maryland.

The Terrapins (13-3, 1-2 ACC) have had N.C. State’s number recently, especially in College Park, Md. Maryland, which is in the process of leaving the ACC for the Big Ten, has won 18 of 20 home games in the series and nine of the past 10 games overall.

This will be the 150th meeting between N.C. State and Maryland, who staged what most people consider to be the greatest game in ACC history in the 1974 ACC tournament championship game. N.C. State’s first trip to Maryland was in 1927 and this is the Wolfpack’s 60th road game at Maryland but the series will likely end when the Terps head to the Big Ten after the 2013-14 ACC season.

Since Maryland and N.C. State aren’t primary partners, there’s no guarantee N.C. State will make the trip to College Park next season. This one has potential danger for the Wolfpack, which is tied with Miami for first place in the ACC.

“If we don’t bring our ‘A’ game, we’re going to get beat,” N.C. State guard Scott Wood said.

The Terps lead the ACC, and rank second nationally, in rebounding margin (plus-11.6), a statistic that has been a weakness for the Wolfpack (plus-1.8).

In sophomore forward Alex Len (8.3 rebounds per game), senior forward James Padgett (4.4 rpg) and freshman forward Charles Mitchell (6.3 rpg), the Terps have size to spare.

The Terps’ size will be more of a problem, than an emotional letdown, Wood said.

“I think we’re going to be all right,” Wood said. “Obviously, it’s nice to get a big-time win, but you have to be able to move on because we have another good opponent coming up.”

Brown also believed N.C. State would be able to handle what comes after a win over Duke. Brown said one thing the players did take from the Duke win was confidence, which has been building during the team’s 10-game winning streak.

“Everyone’s confidence is at 100 percent now,” Brown said. “We’ve started to click a little more than we were in the beginning of the year.”

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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