Wolfpack Dancing to the Sweet 16!on March 18th, 2012 at 11:11 PM
It has been six years since NC State last made the Sweet Sixteen but with their 66 to 63 win against Georgetown in Columbus the Wolfpack have scored a trip this year in Saint Louis.
Here are some thoughts I had from the game:
The Wolfpack look to have grown up right before our eyes this season, unlike the heart wrenching loss to Duke, NC State played great today in the last 4 minutes with Lorenzo Brown leading the charge. Brown did a good job of keeping the Wolfpack offense in check when Georgetown cut the lead to just 4 with 4:46 left and he closed the door with some key free throws down the stretch.
Mark Gottfried, Bobby Lutz, Orlando Early, Rob Moxley, and the rest of the NC State coaching staff deserve a lot of credit for what they have been able to accomplish with this team in their first season. Prior to this year the Wolfpack had not been to the NCAA tournament since 2006 and had a 25 -55 record in the ACC since that time. This year the Wolfpack were 22-12 overall, 9-7 in the ACC, have consistently developed across the course of this season, and are playing some of their best basketball at just the right time.
NC State does an amazing job of giving everyone shot on offense and that makes them hard to defend. Unlike the San Diego State game where Richard Howell went off for 22 points, the Wolfpack used well designed plays to spread the ball around and give everyone their shots. Scott Wood carried us at times when with his long-range game, C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell had a solid game grabbing 10 offensive rebounds and scoring 23 points between them and C.J. Williams hit a key 3 pointer down the stretch to stretch the lead.
NC State will move on to play the #2 seed in the Midwest region, Kansas. The Jayhawks, 29-6 overall and 16-2 in Big 12 play reached the Sweet Sixteen by knocking off Detroit in the second round and Purdue in the third round. Kansas is led by future lottery pick Thomas Robinson, a 6′ 10″ forward who throws out a double double every night . (If you have not read about his family’s story I would recommend reading it, here is a link)