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Duke rallies from 20 to beat Wolfpack, 78-73

DURHAM — In the course of eight days, Duke has come up with two of its more memorable rallies in recent memory.

The Blue Devils rallied from a 20-point second half deficit against N.C. State on Thursday for a shocking 78-73 win over the Wolfpack at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Austin Rivers hit a 3-pointer with 2:24 left to bring Duke all the way back from the huge deficit.

By that point, N.C. State seemed hopelessly rattled, as the Blue Devils finished the game on a 37-12 run. It was somewhat reminiscent of last Wednesday, when Duke rallied from a 10-point deficit with a little more than 2 minutes left for a thrilling victory over UNC.

Balanced Pack playing unselfish

N.C. State is the only ACC team with five players who average at least 10 points a game.

The Wolfpack's balance helped them in Sunday's 79-74 win over Maryland, which was essentially a one-man show in Terrell Stoglin (25 points).

C.J. Leslie led State with 20 points against the Terps, Scott Wood added 19, Lorenzo Brown had 11 and Richard Howell finished with 10.

Three points: N.C. State 82, Western Carolina 55

Happy New Year, Three Points from Saturday's home win over the Catamounts:

1) Putting the 'free' in free throws

Since going 13 of 20 (65 percent) from the free-throw line in a four-point loss to Stanford on Dec. 4, N.C. State has gone 61 of 76 (80.2 percent) in the past five games.

State was 16 of 21 against Western Carolina but three of the misses were by reserves Kendall Smith and Staats Battle in the waning moments of the 82-55 blowout.

Three points: N.C. State 87, Campbell 81

Note: New feature alert! I'll recap each game with "Three Points" on StateNow the day after each basketball and football game.

1. That was a crazy game to schedule

Mark Gottfried said he was "crazy" for scheduling the trip to St. Bonaventure earlier this month but he was certifiable for agreeing to face Campbell on Thursday night at Reynolds Coliseum.

A) Campbell has a good basketball team with three ACC-level players in guard Trey Freeman, guard Darren White and forward Eric Griffin.

It's not hyperbole to claim Campbell could finish ninth in the ACC this season.

N.C. State players hope RBC Center crowd gets to storm the court

RALEIGH – With No. 1 Syracuse coming to the RBC Center on Saturday, N.C. State point guards Lorenzo Brown and Alex Johnson discussed this week what an upset might look like if the Wolfpack were to pull off an improbable victory.

After watching Indiana knock off then-No. 1 Kentucky last week, the two guards talked about what it would feel like if the Wolfpack (6-3) were to take down Syracuse (10-0) and overcome its vaunted zone defense. They talked about the sold-out crowd storming the floor and creating an unforgettable moment neither has experienced in their careers.

"Me and Zo were talking about it," Johnson said. "If we do win, to have this crowd just storm the court. That would be quite an experience. You see it on TV and you kind of want to experience it."

YouTube footage of Indiana's fans storming the court after their team defeated then-No. 1 Kentucky:

Johnson, de Thaey impress Pack teammates

N.C. State needed Alex Johnson, after point guard Ryan Harrow transferred, and Johnson has quickly found a role with his new team.

"He's a leader," sophomore guard Lorenzo Brown said. "He has been real vocal in practice and workouts."

Pack gets guard help from Bakersfield transfer

Alex Johnson's Twitter handle is "supermanjohnson" but the point guard is looking to help N.C. State's basketball team, not save them.

Johnson, who averaged 13.3 points per game last season for Cal State Bakersfield, said Monday he is going to transfer to N.C. State for his final college season. Johnson said he will graduate in June and pursue a masters degree at State, which means he will be eligible for the upcoming season.

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