ACC Basketball

ACC Tournament, Semifinals: N.C. State vs. Duke

Credit: AP Photo/Gerry Broome

After Duke escaped with a 63-62 win over Clemson in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals, watching the Duke faithful on Twitter, you might have thought they had lost. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty to be frustrated by, especially as they watched yet another second half double digit lead crumble away.

Still, those are the type of games Clemson plays. In fact, that was their 11th game out of their last 12 that was decided by five points or less. Sometimes good teams have to win ugly, all that matters is the win.

Still, the Blue Devils appear to be relying a lot of more on Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood to do most of their scoring as players like Andre Dawkins struggle to hit shots and Quinn Cook struggles to find his role on this team. The three-point shot is still not falling, although they are rebounding a lot better in their last two wins, so that certainly mitigates that.

As for North Carolina State, they took care of business against Syracuse, 666-63. They held the Orange to 33% shooting from the floor and just 23.5% from three. T.J. Warren has continued to carry the scoring load, scoring 28 against Syracuse, a night after scoring 24 against Miami. At 21-12, the Wolfpack still have worked to do if they want to sneak into the NCAA Tournament. In fact, thanks to a RPI of just 52, they may have to actually win the whole tournament, which means beating Duke.

PREVIOUS MEETING: Duke beat North Carolina State, 95-60.
Back in Cameron on Januaray 18, Duke demolished N.C. State, thanks to 21 Wolfpack turnovers, which the Blue Devils converted into 33 points. It was a real team effort for State, as six different players had at least two turnovers, three of which turned it over four times. T.J. Warren finished with 23, but he was the only Wolfpack to score in double figures. Ten different Blue Devils scored points in the ass-kicking, lead by Jabari Parker’s 23.

WORTHLESS PREDICTION: Duke Blue Devils
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that N.C. State will not lose by 35 points. As I’ve already mentioned, turnovers played a big part in that loss to Duke. However, during the Wolfpack’s current four game winning streak, they’ve turned it over just 33 times total. Having said that, I just believe Duke is due to break out of their three-point slump. Look for Warren to get his points, but the Blue Devils will be able to rebound and take care off the role players on this team.

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