N.C. State faces, to use a Coach Roy Williams phrase, a dadgum “Must Win” tonight in Raleigh….State has to start winning games like this one and they pounded Duke last year, in what Duke analyst John Roth called, “Duke’s worst loss of the season”…..The Wolfpack beat Duke bad, during a season where the Blue Devils went on to win the National Championship, so now is the time for the Pack to do it again……Why not????? Duke is missing a few beats at point guard with the ACC’s top freshman, Kyrie Irving out…..Duke will have to double-team N.C. State’s Tracy Smith, or at least that is what ESPN analyst Jay Bilas was saying this morning on 620AM, “The Buzz”….If Duke double-teams Smith, then somebody has to be open, and he better be hitting those open shots for the Pack….The freshmen for State must get to the basket and they need to get to the foul line too….C.J. Leslie, Lorenzo Brown and Ryan Harrow need to be in this game, 30-plus minutes tonight…..Richard Howell might just be the guy that Duke leaves open, when they double-down on Tracy Smith, so Howell needs to be thinking in terms of at least 10 points and a guaranteed 10 rebounds tonight….Scott Wood must be “on” from three-point range and State will be at home on their range and they must use that loud RBC Center crowd to their advantage….The real problem is the defense on Duke…Duke is a tough team to defend, just ask every team they have played this year, with the exception of Florida State, and they’ll tell you the same thing…..Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith, Curry, Dawkins, the Plumlees, Ryan Kelly and on you go….Singler and Smith are the “Giant Killers”, and really, all Duke has after that is complimentary players, like Curry, Dawkins and the others….But, the real ace in the hole for State, is that the Wolfpack will have all of the North Carolina Tar Heel fans pulling for them tonight, so that type of kick-in karma should go a long way, in deciding the outcome of this game…..No “True Blue” Tar Heel fan can pull for Duke, right?????
Here we go, it is on like a neckbone in Raleigh tonight…….
A neat little note on the N.C. State/Duke rivalry, as it does still exsist and here is some history on it for you:
Bones McKinney always blamed his rejection of the hometown school(Duke) on an incident that occurred while he was still a student at Durham High. He claimed that he was caught sneaking into the Duke Indoor Stadium through a bathroom window and was given a spanking by a campus cop in front of a crowd of jeering Duke students. He always insisted that the embarrassment caused him to pick N.C. State over Duke(McKinney ended up joining and playing a big part, at 6’6, in the Wolfpack basketball program).
Read more on the Duke/N.C. State rivalry from Al Featherston at goduke.com when you CLICK HERE….
Duke @ NC State
TV: ESPN (XM 143/190)
Virginia @ Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
TV: ACC Network on theACC.com (XM 192)
Wake Forest @ Georgia Tech
TV: ESPNU (XM 191)
Florida State @ Miami
Coral Gables, Fla.
TV: RSN (XM 190)