No. 12 N.C. State vs. No. 13 Wake Forest
Records: Wolfpack 15-16, 5-13 ACC, Demon Deacons 11-19, 2-16
Time/TV: Noon, WRAL, ESPN2
Previous meetings this season: Jan. 6 (Winston-Salem): Wake Forest, W, 77-74; Feb. 13 (Raleigh): N.C. State, 99-88
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Last ACC tournament meeting: Wake Forest, 82-70 (2006)
Players to watch: Bryant Crawford, G, Wake Forest: The freshman is Danny Manning’s meal ticket next year and he showed some promise this season with 13.4 points per ACC game, including 22 points against Virginia’s stout defense on Jan. 26. Crawford will have to shoot better against N.C. State’s defense (1 of 7 from 3), than he did in a 99-88 loss in Raleigh.
Cat Barber, G, N.C. State: How kind will the whistle be to the Wolfpack’s star guard? In the loss at Winston-Salem, he attempted just four free throws. In the win in Raleigh, Barber wen to the foul line 20 times (and made 17).
Bottom line: Wake Forest was the only ACC team to play straight man defense against N.C. State. Against the four players in N.C. State’s lineup not named Cat Barber, that’s a perfectly acceptable strategy. But against Barber? There’s a reason Duke and Florida State concocted full-court traps, halfcourt zones and constantly used double-teams on the ACC’s leading scorer.
If Danny Manning doesn’t make any adjustments from the game in Raleigh, the result won’t change.