N.C. State at Georgia Tech
When/where: 8 p.m., McCamish Pavilion, Atlanta
TV/Radio: WRAL, WRAL 101.5
Projected starting lineups
N.C. State (14-14, 3-12 ACC)
G Dennis Smith 18.9 ppg, 6.6 apg
G Terry Henderson 13.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg
G Torin Dorn 10.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg
G Maverick Rowan 12.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg
F Abdul-Malik Abu 11.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg
Georgia Tech (16-11, 7-7 ACC)
G Josh Heath 5.7 ppg, 4.4 apg
G Corey Heyward 2.1 ppg, 1.1 apg
G Josh Okogie 15.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg
F Quinton Stephens 9.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg
F Ben Lammers 15.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg
Three things to know
▪ N.C. State guard Dennis Smith Jr. has the bigger reputation and better numbers, but Georgia Tech freshman wing Josh Okogie might wind up winning the ACC’s rookie of the year vote. Okogie, who leads the Yellow Jackets in scoring, has led the Yellow Jackets to an improbable 7-7 mark in ACC play. N.C. State’s poor team performance might be used against Smith by some voters. Okogie was particularly impressive in his first meeting with State with 27 points in an 86-76 win in Raleigh on Jan. 15.
▪ The Yellow Jackets are the biggest surprise in the ACC under first-year coach Josh Pastner. Brian Gregory had little success in the previous five seasons, and left Pastner with even less talent, but Pastner has a chance to lead the Jackets to their first winning season in ACC play since 2004 and only second since 1996. Pastner, who did not have a reputation for being much of a bench coach at Memphis, has to be considered for the ACC coach of the year award, if not for national recognition.
▪ N.C. State has won four of its past five games at Georgia Tech, including a memorable 81-80 overtime decision in 2015 on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Trevor Lacey.