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State's record secondary to its performance

Lost in the way N.C. State played Wednesday night in a 56-51 win over Boston College was the fact that the Wolfpack surpassed its win total from last season and equaled its ACC win total.

The Wolfpack improved to 16-7 overall, one more win from last season, and 5-3 in the ACC, it finished 5-11 in the conference in each of the past two seasons.

State coach Mark Gottfried is more concerned with how his team has played than its record.

Three Points: N.C. State 56, Boston College 51

Three Points from Wednesday's 56-51 win at Boston College:

1) Body language counts

When Richard Howell, Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Leslie slumped their shoulders, dropped their heads and sloughed off to the locker room at halftime, they were greeted with a warning from N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried.

"I told them that is not acceptable and we won't do that — and we have not done that any night this year," Gottfried said. "We were allowing things to bother us. Mentally, we were out of synch."

Wood, Leslie lead Pack to 56-51 win at BC

Updated 11:15 p.m.

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Boston College started the week at No. 229 in the Rating Percentage Index, one spot ahead of Savannah State and one behind Lafayette.

That's not the kind of company N.C. State can afford to keep if it wants to end its season in the four-letter postseason tournament instead of the three-letter one. Scott Wood and C.J. Leslie saved the Wolfpack from an RPI-crushing loss on Wednesday — and string of other four-letter words from a portion of its fan base.

Wood (16 points) and Leslie (13) lifted a cold-shooting and sloppy State (16-7, 5-3 ACC) team to an ugly 56-51 ACC win, in name only, over the Eagles.

Three Points: Virginia 61, N.C. State 60

Three Points from State's 61-60 loss to the Cavaliers on Saturday.

1) Effort vs. execution

Effort was a problem for N.C. State before coach Mark Gottfried was hired. "Was" as in past tense and Saturday's 61-60 loss to Virginia is the latest proof of how far a State team, made up of essentially the same players as a year ago, has come on the effort front.

Any of Rich Howell's nine offensive rebounds, or the three jump-ball tie-ups on Virginia's end of the floor he caused, qualify as proof, but there's also the matter of State's defensive effort as a team in the second half.

Three Points: UNC 74, N.C. State 55

Three Points from N.C. State's 74-55 road loss to UNC on Thursday:

There's no shame in losing to the best team in the country on their home floor but there is in the way N.C. State lost to UNC on Thursday.

The Wolfpack (15-6, 4-2 ACC) kept making the same mistakes — at least while the game was still close in the first half — over and over and over. And they were the same mistakes from last year's losses to the same UNC team.

Tudor: Pack has zero time to pout

 

It was clear almost immediately Thursday in the Smith Center that N.C. State’s basketball team is not close to being ready to beat North Carolina.

Next question: Will the Wolfpack now undermine its station by beating itself?

Another rerun in Pack's 11th straight loss to UNC

CHAPEL HILL — Mark Gottfried didn't watch the tape of either of N.C. State's losses to North Carolina from last season. He didn't have to, UNC gave him reprisal on Thursday.

In the same dominant, defensive fashion from a year ago, UNC looked every bit like the preseason No. 1 team in the country in a 74-55 pasting of the Wolfpack at the Smith Center.

State started the day tied for first in the ACC, with four wins in its first five games, but it got a dose of reality from a motivated UNC team, which beat the Wolfpack for the 11th straight time and improved to 17-1 under coach Roy Williams in the series.

State brings rare combo of coach, capability to rivalry

For the first time since Jim Valvano was coaching, North Carolina faces N.C. State when it has both a competitive team and a coach who cares about the rivalry. Les Robinson and Sidney Lowe cared, but never had the horses. As memorable as Lowe’s one victory was, the 2007 “Red Blazer Game,” he lost the next 10 meetings.

Herb Sendek definitely had capable teams -- and was fortunate enough to face UNC during the darkest days of the Matt Doherty Era -- but, famously and lamentably, did everything he could to downplay the rivalry. Over the past few years, the most heated incidence of this rivalry was played at N.C. Central: the Pro-Am matchup two summers ago between the incoming freshmen who are now sophomores.

Gottfried keeping it simple in prep for UNC game

 

N.C. State basketball coach Mark Gottfried wants to keep things simple in preparations for his first game against UNC as the Wolfpack's coach.
 
State (15-5 overall, 4-1 in the ACC) goes to UNC (16-3, 3-1) on Thursday (7 p.m., ESPN).
 
The Wolfpack hasn't won in Chapel Hill since 2002-03. The Tar Heels won by 20 at home and by 12 at State last season. Gottfried hasn't reviewed films of either game.

Three Points: N.C. State 78, Miami 73

A belated Three Points from the Miami win, thanks to a lost morning at the Miami airport.

1) Keeping your eye on the ball

After N.C. State's 78-73 win over Miami gave the Wolfpack a 4-1 ACC record, and share of first place, first-year Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried stayed true to his talking points.

N.C. State has a "long way to go" has been Gottfried's refrain since he took the job in April and a 4-1 ACC start hasn't changed his mindset.

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