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NC State faces Creighton in NCAA Tournament First Round Matchup Friday

Friday will be the 3rd all-time meeting between the two programs with the series tied at 1-1
Credit: WFMY News 2 Sports

DENVER – The 11th-seed NC State men’s basketball team will open the 2023 NCAA Tournament on Friday against sixth-seed Creighton in a first round South Regional matchup.

Tipoff at Ball Arena is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on TNT. NC State fans can also listen to Gary Hahn and Tony Haynes call the action on the Wolfpack Sports Network.Pack Tracks

- NC State received an 11-seed into the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday. It’s the Pack’s 28th NCAA Tournament and first since 2018. NC State is 37-25 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. 

- NC State wrapped up the regular season last Thursday night, falling to Clemson in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. Sophomore guard Terquavion Smith led NC State with 30 points on 11-of-13 shooting in the Pack’s win over Virginia Tech in the second round. He was named to the ACC’s All-Tournament First Team.

- Smith has racked up the honors this season. In addition to the All-Tournament team honor, Smith was also voted onto the All-ACC Second Team, was an AP First-Team All-ACC selection, an NABC First Team All-District selection and is a USBWA All-District III team member. Smith leads the Pack and ranks third in the ACC in scoring with an average of 17.5 points per game. Earlier this season, Smith eclipsed 1,000 career points in his 58th career game. He’s the fourth-fastest ACC player to 1,000 career points in the last 25 years. 

- Graduate guard Jarkel Joiner joined Smith on the All-ACC Second Team and the USBWA All-District III team. Joiner is one spot behind Smith in the ACC in scoring, ranking fourth with an average of 17.1 points per game. The Oxford, Miss., native has been at his best late in the season. Over the last eight games, Joiner is averaging 21.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.9 steals. He’s led NC State in scoring in five of its last eight games and posted a triple-double at Syracuse on Feb. 14.

Wrapping up the regular season

- The Pack’s 22 wins are the most regular season wins for NC State since the 2012-13 team also headed into the ACC Tournament with a 22-9 record. The last time NC State won more than 22 regular season games was when the 1987-88 team entered the ACC Tournament with a 23-6 record. 

- NC State’s 12 ACC wins this season are tied for the most in a single season in program history. The Pack has previously won 12 ACC games four times. The 1972-73 and 1973-74 teams went 12-0 in ACC action while the 1954-55 and 1958-59 teams went 12-2 in ACC play. 

Keys to Victory for the Pack

- Win the Opening 20 Minutes: NC State is 20-1 this season when it has the halftime lead, but just 3-9 if it is behind at the half.

- Score 70+ Points: NC State is second in the ACC in scoring, averaging 78.9 points per game. The Pack is 23-4 this season if it scores 70 or more points and is 0-6 if it is held under 70 points.

- Scoring in the Paint: NC State is 15-0 this season when it has more paint points than its opponent, but is 8-10 when its opponent scores more points in the paint.

- Rack Up the Fast Break Points: NC State leads the ACC and ranks seventh in NCAA DI in fast break points, averaging 15.3 per game. The Pack is 20-5 this season if it has double-digit fast break points, but just 3-5 if it has less than 10 fast break points.

- Don’t turn it over: NC State continues to rank among the nation’s leaders in fewest turnovers per game. The Pack averages just 9.5 turnovers per game to rank seventh in NCAA DI. Twice this season NC State has had just two turnovers in a game. NC State is 22-5 this season when it has the same number or fewer turnovers than its opponent. 

- NC State continues to lead the ACC in turnover margin (+3.9), forcing turnovers (13.4) and steals (8.1). In the Pack’s wins this season it averages almost double the amount of points off turnovers than in losses. In NC State’s 23 wins, it averages to turn opponent’s turnovers into 18.3 points. In its 10 losses, it only averages 9.4 points off turnovers. NC State is 13-0 this season when it has at least 18 points off of opponent turnovers.

NC State - Creighton Series

- Friday will be the 3rd all-time meeting between the two programs with the series tied at 1-1, but the first one played in the continental United States. The first meeting was played in 1987 in Honolulu, Hawaii and the second and most recent meeting was held in 2016 in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

- NC State won the first meeting between the programs, knocking off the Bluejays 86-55 on Dec. 28, 1987 in Honolulu, Hawaii in the first round of the Rainbow Classic.

- Creighton won the last meeting, 112-94, in the second round of the Paradise Jam. Torin Dorn, who is a graduate manager for NC State this season, scored 16 points for the Pack in the loss. Creighton’s 112 points are the third-most allowed by NC State in program history.


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