If you’re of the opinion that N.C. State’s upset of top-ranked Duke on Saturday was validation of its selection as the ACC’s preseason favorite and a signal that the Wolfpack’s long-suffering men basketball program had finally gotten over the proverbial hump, you’re only half right.
The memorable 84-76 victory did prove that coach Mark Gottfried’s veteran team is capable of playing with and beating anyone in the country.
Defensive rebounding. Can NC State keep Maryland's deep frontcourt off the glass? That seems to me the key to this game. Maryland is shooting the ball well, their exercise in whatever that was at Miami aside. The Terps' primary weakness is turnovers, which just so happens to match a defensive weakness for the Pack. I can't prove this--it's truthiness straight from the gut--but it seems like when turnover-prone offenses go up against defenses that rarely force turnovers, the offense wins more often than not.
We can hope for some unforced errors, but as you know after the last 6+ years, there's not a lot that State is going to be doing to take the ball away.