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State Now is your place for Wolfpack sports. Beat writer Joe Giglio has up-to-the-minute news and analysis. Columnist Luke DeCock also contributes. Follow us on Twitter at @jwgiglio or @accnow.

Scott, Miami move into ACC title game

GREENSBORO N.C. State shut down Erick Green and Joe Harris to get to the semifinals of the ACC tournament.

Miami's Durand Scott proved more difficult to defend. Scott's career-best 32 points carried the top-seeded Hurricanes to a 81-71 win over N.C. State and into their first ACC championship game.

N.C. State, playing for the third time in as many days, started sluggish and fell behind by double-digits midway through the first half and stayed in a hole.

Aggressive Pack downs Virginia

GREENSBORO N.C. State beat Virginia at its own game on Friday at the ACC tournament.

The Wolfpack's defense, for the second straight day, stymied one of the top scorers in the ACC, this time in a 75-56 win over Virginia. N.C. State (24-9) will play top-seeded Miami on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the semifinals.

The Wolfpack held Virginia's Joe Harris to 13 points and got plenty of offense, and fight, from its veterans.

Three Points: The real Zo, matchups matter, free throws

Three Points from N.C. State's 80-63 ACC tournament win over Virginia:

1) The real Zo

Defense and rebounding, rebounding and defense. Lorenzo Brown took care of the Wolfpack's two biggest problems of the season all by himself on Thursday.

Brown blanketed Virginia Tech's Erick Green (15 points, 5 of 19 shooting), in a bounce-back effort from the troubling loss at Florida State, and he also had seven rebounds on Thursday.

Hess returns to ACC tournament

Longtime ACC official Karl Hess returned to the ACC tournament on Thursday night, working the Wake Forest-Maryland game.

Hess did not work the ACC tournament last year in Atlanta, which set off a controversy when three officials taped Hess' initials to their sneakers for the first game of the tournament.

Hess was involved in a firestorm last season with N.C. State after he had former players Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta ejected from the Florida State game in Raleigh.
Hess, who has worked 22 ACC games this season, the most of any official, has not refereed an N.C. State game yet this season.

Pack gets defensive against Hokies

GREENSBORO N.C. State didn't win many games in the regular season with its defense.

The Wolfpack won its first postseason game on Thursday with a strong defensive effort against the nation's leading scorer.

Fifth-seeded N.C. State held Virginia Tech's Erick Green to take a 80-63 win in the first round of the ACC tournament on Thursday in Greensboro.

Triangle schools well represented on all-ACC teams

Duke's Mason Plumlee and N.C. State's Richard Howell were first-team all-ACC selections. Credit: CHUCK LIDDY

The Triangle schools were well represented on the media’s all-ACC teams released Monday. Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State combined for 13 representatives on the first, second, third and freshman teams as selected by the 77 voters of Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

Duke’s Mason Plumlee was led all players with 226 points and 73 out of a possible 77 first-place votes. Plumlee finished the regular season ranked second in the league in scoring (17.3 points per game), rebounding (10.3 boards per game) and field goal percentage (58.9 percent). He led the ACC with 17 double-doubles. Duke has had a first-team All-ACC selection in six straight seasons.

N.C. State’s Richard Howell was also a first-team selection with 192 points and 46 1st-place votes. Howell and Plumlee were the only two players to average a double-double in league play, and the N.C. State senior led the league in rebounding with an average of 10.6 rebounds per game.

DeCock: My all-ACC ballot, with explanation

My all-ACC ballot, annotated.

Player of the year: Erick Green, Virginia Tech. In the end, I couldn’t ignore the fact that Green is leading the entire country in scoring, not just the conference. That includes the small-conference machine-gun scorers like Nate Wolters, Lamont “Momo” Jones and Doug McDermott, guys who aren't playing against ACC defenders on a nightly basis.

Seeds set for ACC tourney, Pack will have to work overtime

Duke and North Carolina will have Thursday off in the ACC Tournament, N.C. State will not.

Virginia's 61-58 overtime win over Maryland on Sunday night clinched the No. 4 seed, and the final opening-round bye, for the Cavaliers.

N.C. State, which finished 11-7 in the ACC and in fifth place, will play on Thursday against 12th-seeded Virginia Tech. The other three games on Thursday in Greensboro will be: Boston College-Georgia Tech, Maryland-Wake Forest and Florida State-Clemson.

Three Points: Desperate times, the blame game, a Miami comparison

Three Points from N.C. State's 71-67 loss at Florida State:

1) Desperate times

N.C. State played 31 regular-season games, how many times during the season did the Wolfpack play with true desperation? How many times did the Wolfpack play with conspicuous urgency?

The answer matters because talent alone doesn't define greatness. It's the combination of talent with desire and the ability of a group to play with a purpose and above the level of the sum of their parts.

Wolfpack falls at FSU, 71-67

Florida State handed N.C. State a ticket for a bye in the ACC tournament and then the Seminoles took it away.

Freshman guard Devon Bookert scored eight of his 18 points in the final 3 minutes to carry Florida State to a 71-67 home win over the Wolfpack on Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee, Fla.

N.C. State (22-9, 11-7 ACC) only needed a win to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament and avoid having to play on Thursday. The Wolfpack beat FSU by 18 points in Raleigh two and half weeks ago and led by as many as eight points in the second half on Saturday.