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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.

NBA's Jazz hires Lowe as assistant coach

Sidney Lowe's going back to the NBA.

The  Utah Jazz hired the former N.C. State head coach as an assistant on Thursday, the team announced.

DeCock: Harrow's decision unsurprising, unfortunate

The bond between Sidney Lowe and Ryan Harrow was readily apparent before Harrow even stepped on campus last fall, just because of the way Lowe glowed when he talked about his relationship with Harrow last summer. There was something special there, obvious to everyone who heard either talk about it.

So it’s no real surprise that with Lowe gone, Harrow is leaving as well, as the rising sophomore today announced his intention to transfer.

Calipari says he 'came close' to coaching Wolfpack in 2006

NEWARK, N.J. — Kentucky coach John Calipari said today that he “came close” to taking the N.C. State basketball job in the spring of 2006.

“I liked the situation there because it gave you a chance to get on the same footing with the Dukes and North Carolinas — like ‘let’s go, let’s have it,’ ” said Calipari, whose team faces Ohio State on Friday in the East Regional semifinals at the Prudential Center.

The job eventually went to Sidney Lowe, who was ousted almost two weeks ago.

Calipari isn’t seen as a candidate this time for the Wolfpack, but called the job a “terrific one.”

“Someone will go in there and do a really good job,” he said.

UNC's Williams saddened by Lowe's departure

CHAPEL HILL – North Carolina coach Roy Williams said today that he had a wide variety of emotions when he learned that Sidney Lowe had decided to resign as N.C. State’s head coach on Tuesday, after five years. But mostly, Williams said, he was “very sad.”

“I happen to think Sidney Lowe is one of the good guys,’’ Williams said. “I enjoyed Sidney. I’m just mad at myself, because we had talked about having a competition – four guys on his staff, four on mine, me and three other guys – meet at Chapel Hill Country Club and play. [We were] going to bribe Wanda [Williams’ wife] into fixing us some hot muffins or something, and handing them out at the seventh fairway. And I didn’t get a chance to do that, and I’m mad at myself about that.

Lowe resigns from N.C. State

RALEIGH — At one point during their meeting Tuesday, N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow said Sidney Lowe was comforting her after the decision was made for Lowe to part ways with the Wolfpack basketball program.

Yow described Lowe, a popular former player, as a good man who is still beloved by Wolfpack fans but as a coach who didn't win enough games in five seasons.

Lowe and Yow to meet at noon today

Sidney Lowe and Debbie Yow are scheduled to meet at noon today to discuss Lowe's future as N.C. State's basketball coach.

Lowe, 86-78 in five seasons, has two seasons remaining on his contract but Yow, the first-year athletic director, has not made any public comments about his status.

Replay today's ACC tournament chat with Caulton Tudor

  Join columnist Caulton Tudor to talk about N.C. State and today's games (03/11/2011)

Welcome back, everyone. Day Two of the ACC tournament tips off in just over an hour, with top-seeded UNC taking on No. 9-seeded Miami.

Virginia fans are still sporting the glazed eyed, "dead man walking" stare after yesterday's collapse, while N.C. State fans are wondering what comes next for the Wolfpack program after last night's loss to Maryland.

N&O columnist Caulton Tudor was courtside much of the day Thursday, and he joins us now from the Greensboro Coliseum to take everyone's ACC tournament questions.

Friday March 11, 2011 10:57 Moderator
[Comment From Caulton TudorCaulton Tudor: ]

Caulton Tudor is on board. Let the chatting begin.

Friday March 11, 2011 10:57 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From DudeDude: ]

With no formal announcement, why is Jeff G., WRAL stating that Sid is gone?

Friday March 11, 2011 10:59 Dude
[Comment From AlAl: ]

when will we know if Sidney Lowe is gone?

Friday March 11, 2011 10:59 Al
Caulton Tudor: 

I can't speak for WRAL, but I think there'll be something official announced by NCSU next week. I don't think it comes any later than Thursday. But that is just the way I read the situation.
Like almost everyone else, I think N.C. State AD Debbie Yow will make a change.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:01 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From WilliamWilliam: ]

Let's start with what has clicked right with all the off court defections

Friday March 11, 2011 11:02 William
Caulton Tudor: 

Defections? Are you talking about UNC defections?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:03 Caulton Tudor

Let's assume William was talking about UNC.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:03 Moderator
Caulton Tudor: 

If it's UNC, the departure of Larry Drew II turned an average season into a chance to reach the Final Four. The others have been absorbed well. Long run, losing the Wear brothers could create some frontcourt depth problems — especially if John Henson and Tyler Zeller would turn pro.
But I honestly don't think UNC is going to lose anyone earlier to the NBA this season. I easily could be wrong about that. Losing Will Graves was a cause for concern earlier on the UNC staff. That, too, has passed.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:06 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From GuestGuest: ]

I am a MD grad (living under duress in the heart of ACC country)..."IF" MD beats Duke (it is March Madness after all) - do you think MD has to win the ACC tourney to get an NCAA bid?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:06 Guest
Caulton Tudor: 

Honestly, I think Maryland needs to get to the ACC championship game.
Beating Duke would help the resume a great deal obviously. But having talked just briefly with Gary Williams, I know he's still concerned about getting a bid.
Here's something to keep in mind, though. If Terps do win tonight and some other bubble teams lose, the impact of a win over Duke would be more important.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:08 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From GregGreg: ]

Hi Caulton, thanks for doing this! So, what was the biggest surprise yesterday?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:10 Greg
Which team has the best chance of knocking off UNC and Duke for the ACC championship?
Virginia Tech

 ( 8% )


 ( 15% )

Florida State

 ( 69% )


 ( 0% )


 ( 8% )

Boston College

 ( 0% )
Friday March 11, 2011 11:14 
Caulton Tudor: 

The awful coaching in the first game for one thing. Frank Haith basically forgot about Julian Gamble in the 2nd half after he saved Miami in the first.
Tony Bennett and his UVa team went into a meltdown of historic proportions during the final minute of regulation and in OT.
Also, I was surprised that C.J. Leslie didn't play with more emotion for N.C. State against Maryland. I thought his defense had been coming around at least some, but he was a full step behind most of the game. That's why he didn't play but 19 minutes.
I know Leslie is thinking about jumping into the draft, and some team will probably pick him on the raw talent factor. But he just has zero intensity at times. Freshmen go through that some, but last night was his 31st game.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:14 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From Maniac PackManiac Pack: ]

Hey Caulton, who do you like in today's Clemson vs. Boston College match-up? I think it's going to be a very competitive game.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:14 Maniac Pack
Caulton Tudor: 

I give a slight edge to BC. I think Donahue will throw a big zone at Clemson's perimeter shooters. If the Tigs can hit some jump shots early, BC's half-court offense should be a positive.
Clemson really needs to convert shots early. The Tigs have been streaky shooters a lot this season, too. A hot streak earlier would force BC to play more man defense.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:17 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From GregGreg: ]

Miami and UNC tip off in about an hour and the Heels are obviously favored. What does Miami have to do to put themselves in a position to be competing for the win?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:17 Greg
Caulton Tudor: 

At Miami in the first game, the Hurricanes hit eight 3s in the first half and 13 for the game. That's always a key against Carolina. Outside strikes bother the way UNC likes to play defense.
Another thing: Miami has to keep John Henson off the offensive boards. UNC hasn't shot particularly well most of the season, but Henson and Zeller get so many stick-backs that the shooting gets covered up.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:19 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From State FanState Fan: ]

I heard someone say Tubby Smith for NCSU. Heard anything?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:19 State Fan
Caulton Tudor: 

Tubby's team at Minnesota didnt play well at all in February and March. He got upset with his players a time or two but then said he'd stay with the Gophers until he retired.
He said the same thing at Kentucky, too.
Tubby turns 60 in June, and I just don't believe he wants to spend the rest of his working life in Minnesota in the winter. If he's offered, I think he'll bite.
Tubby can coach, too. He's up there with some of the best when it comes to X'ing and O'ing. The question, though, would be recruiting success, possibly.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:22 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From RDRD: ]

Is winning the ACC tourney the only way for Duke or UNC to get a #1 seed

Friday March 11, 2011 11:22 RD
Caulton Tudor: 

It depends on the other contenders really. Pitt lost in the Big East. Kansas also lost yesterday in the Big 12.
Coaches say there's a lot of difference between being a No. 1 and a No. 2, but I'm not so sure. I realize No. 2s have lost in the first round before. But I think both should be No. 2s if they win today and Saturday. Then obviously, the winner on Sunday would be a 1. But being a 2 shouldn't be a hurdle in either case. Big thing if both reach Sunday would be getting a Friday game in the NCAA subregionals.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:25 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From AlAl: ]

The Big East tourney has surpassed the ACC. How can the ACC get back on top? Is it as simple as finding new, better coaches for GT, NCSU and Miami to make them competitive again?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:25 Al
Which player will have the best individual performance today?
Malcolm Grant, Miami

 ( 0% )

John Henson, UNC

 ( 50% )

Reggie Jackson, BC

 ( 0% )

Jerai Grant, Clemson

 ( 0% )

Jordan Williams, Maryland

 ( 30% )

Kyle Singler, Duke

 ( 20% )
Friday March 11, 2011 11:30 
Caulton Tudor: 

Coaching is No. 1.
In a way, though, it's not apples and apples by comparison. The Big East has so many teams that the the direct comparison doesn't quite work.
But overall, the conferences with the best coaches are the best conferences. The ACC has slipped in a big way. There are reasons, I guess. A top-line coach just isn't going to take the job at Miami or BC, or probably Virginia Tech and Clemson for that matter.
But the key is finding a good fit, which I think Clemson may have in Brownell and BC with Donahue. One thing the ACC fringe schools cannot survive is making bad hires. That's happened so much during the past 10-12 years that no one has consistently even been in position to challenge Duke and UNC or make a steady run at top-20 status.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:30 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From Kyrie IrvingKyrie Irving: ]

Do you expect that Coach will let me dress out for the games this weekend?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:30 Kyrie Irving
Caulton Tudor: 

Why not? I'll put in a good word for ya.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:31 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From PetePete: ]

Any discussion among the conference folks or others about the officiating fiasco in the Big East tournament? Are the ACC officiating crews taking note?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:31 Pete
Caulton Tudor: 

The officials met for about an hour Thursday, and it came up. I'll try to find John Clougherty at some point today and put what he says on line or in the print notes for Sat.
Things of that nature always lead to quick extra emphasis, however.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:33 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From WFU AlumWFU Alum: ]

What was the fan support for WFU (if any) yesterday? I wonder how much the current play (er. coach) has diminished an already small (buy feisty) fan base?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:33 WFU Alum
Caulton Tudor: 

Wake had a fair number of fans, but I understand the school could sell but 750 or ticket books. The ACC hoped that all 4 NC based teams would sell at least 1,750.
Ron Wellman is catching a lot of grief from the fans. It's not become a big news item and probably won't unless there's a full blown uprising.
There's definitely a chance that hiring Bzdelik was a bad error of judgment. No one can know for sure until the 2013-14 season probably. But his first season was a nightmare on the developmental front.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:37 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From GregGreg: ]

Uhhh... Caulton, Kansas did not lose yesterday. They beat Oklahoma State by one.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:37 Greg

Greg is right. It was 63-62, Kansas over the Cowboys. Pesky facts ...

Friday March 11, 2011 11:38 Moderator
[Comment From JoelJoel: ]

Any other serious candidates for the NCSU job? Can we have Sendek back??

Friday March 11, 2011 11:38 Joel
[Comment From GmoneyGmoney: ]

Who would you go after if you were Debbie Yow for coach?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:38 Gmoney
Caulton Tudor: 

No, Kansas almost lost. My bad.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:38 Caulton Tudor
Caulton Tudor: 

I think Yow has to contact Sean Miller at Arizona and go from there.
If he says yes, the search logically ends. If he says no, I don't think Yow would be shocked and would move on down her list.
I think Mark Turgeon at Texas A&M would be a good fit, but I know he's making a ton of money in College Station. But I'd check.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:40 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From AlAl: ]

GT should hire Mike Anderson, Miami = Frank Martin and NCSU = Brad Stevens

Friday March 11, 2011 11:41 Al
Caulton Tudor: 

Anderson really undertand the up-tempo offene. That's for sure. I wonder if Martin would leave K-State for Miami.
Stevens at NCSU would terrific. But I have a feeling he's waiting to see if Indiana comes open again in the next couple or so seasons.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:42 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From Kris McJenkinsKris McJenkins: ]

Mr. Tudor, love your work. Is it true that Kendal Marshall has found the cure to cancer?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:43 Kris McJenkins
[Comment From DaveDave: ]

Caulton, what has made Kendall Marshall as effective as he has been at leading the UNC attack?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:43 Dave
Caulton Tudor: 

It's his medical school lab work, of course.
Seriously, Marshall is one of the best passers I've seen in years. He makes some bad ones, of course. Freshmen will do that. But next season this time, he easily could be averaging 8-10 assists per game.
He'll get better with the shot, too.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:45 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From BryanBryan: ]

Can ECU win CUSA Tourney? What do you think of Lebo?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:45 Bryan
Caulton Tudor: 

Lebo should be national coach of the year or at worst, a strong contender. He won't get the votes, of course. But I never thought I'd see the day when ECU had a chance to win 2 games in the ACC Tourney. This season, that could have happened.
He's still going to have to find some talent, but this season should make recruiting a lot easier.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:48 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From D MerrittD Merritt: ]

Where has all the ink been in regards to Jordan WIlliams? He is either another Moses Malone, or another Sean May, time will tell.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:48 D Merritt
Caulton Tudor: 

If Williams comes back and Terrell Stoglin improves during the offseason, the Terps will be a load. Gary Williams can develop players. He keeps proving it again year after year.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:49 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From MountainHeelMountainHeel: ]

I postulated before the Dook game that I thought Carolina would win any game in which Leslie McDonald scored more than 8 points. Against Dook he scored 9. I think you're the best analyst of the game along with Jay Bilas. Whadaya think?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:49 MountainHeel

When did Jay Bilas start posting under "Mountain Heel"?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:50 Moderator
Caulton Tudor: 

McDonald's offense is a big key. But to me, the key to Carolina winning right now is still keeping Zeller and Henson out of foul trouble. Generally, neither has been in much difficulty all season. Both are aggressive going after shots, too.
As much McDonald, getting a little pop out of Dex Strickland would be big, too.
One more, guys, then I have to get to the court. I'm working the first game today.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:52 Caulton Tudor
[Comment From MACMAC: ]

Hey Tudor.....I am a HUGE UNC fan, do you think Barnes and Marshall will have butterflies being it's their first ACC Tourney game?

Friday March 11, 2011 11:52 MAC
Caulton Tudor: 

Not really. Plus, they have played a game in this building against a strong opponent -- Texas. That's one reason why Roy Williams wanted it played here.

Have fun today. Please keep reading on line and print. We'll try to give you a product worth reading.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:54 Caulton Tudor

Thanks for joining us, today. Good luck to everyone in their efforts pretending to work as they watch the tournament.

Join us again Monday for an online chat at noon, when we'll go over the NCAA tournament bracket and undergo our annual exercise in pretending to be outraged by the selection committee's seeding choices.

Friday March 11, 2011 11:58 Moderator


Tudor's Take: Hero of '83 never found the coaching magic

GREENSBORO -- Sidney Lowe had enough moral support in Greensboro Coliseum on Thursday night to generate a tidal wave of hope.

Plenty of fans dressed in various shades of orange – Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech folks – welcomed the affable N.C. State coach with spirited applause.

Even those ACC Tournament fans wearing Carolina blue got to their feet when Lowe was introduced over the public address system.

Green: Lowe, Wolfpack end on unimpressive note

GREENSBORO – The red jacket has left the building.

If N.C. State’s 75-67 loss to Maryland Thursday night in the opening round of the ACC tournament was the final game in Sidney Lowe’s time coaching his alma mater, it ended the way so much of this season went.


The Wolfpack played itself into a 12-2 hole almost immediately, changing the feel of a game they had to win. But that’s one of the recurring themes with the Wolfpack – it makes life hard on itself.

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