Georgia Tech and NC State try to continue magical ACC Tourney run

#7 Georgia Tech vs.

#11 North Carolina State, approx. 4:00 p.m.

Regular season results – Georgia Tech 73-71 at home on Feb. 6

Team records – Georgia Tech 21-11 (9-9) NC State 19-14 (7-11)

Projected starters-

Georgia Tech (ACC Tourney stats)

G- Iman Shumpert (11.5 ppg, 4 apg)

G- De’Andre Bell (5 ppg, 3.5 rpg)

G- Glen Rice, Jr. (5 ppg, 2-4 3pt)

F- Derrick Favors (15.5 ppg, 10 rpg)

F- Gani Lawal (9.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg)

NC State

G- Javier Gonzalez (7.5 ppg, 3.5 apg, 3 t.o. per game)

G- Scott Wood (12 ppg, 8-12 3pt)

F- Dennis Horner (4.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg)

F- C.J. Williams (10 ppg)

F- Tracy Smith (16 ppg, 7 rpg)

Team statistical comparison




Points per game



Points allowed per game



Free throw percentage



Three-point percentage



Rebounds per game



Assists per game



Turnovers per game


Backcourt –

Neither team boasts a particularly strong backcourt. The Yellow Jackets get the most production from any of their guards out of Iman Shumpert. Shumpert struggled for much of conference play, but has played very well in the first two rounds of this tournament. He is the unsung hero for the Jackets in Greensboro.

Javier Gonzalez runs the point for the Wolfpack, and he has been his usual turnover-prone self in the ACC Tournament, averaging three per game.

Georgia Tech is much stronger and quicker in the backcourt than NC State.

The Wolfpack have been aided this weekend by the red-hot shooting of Scott Wood. Wood has come off the bench to hit eight three’s in two games. He will need a third straight hot game if the ‘Pack want to make it to the finals.

Advantage- Georgia Tech

Frontcourt –

Tracy Smith is a one-man wrecking crew for Sidney Lowe’s team. He is the go-to guy on offense for the Wolfpack; the team goes as he does. He might not face a tougher front line than he will Saturday. Gani Lawal, Derrick Favors, and Zach Peacock are three of the league’s best. Peacock has been exceptional this weekend, and is easily the best player off the bench in the ACC.

Favors is emerging late in the season as one of the nation’s best players. After relatively failing to live up to expectations all season, he is starting to dominate games like everyone expected him to when he arrived at Georgia Tech. Expect another huge game from Favors, whose combination of power and quickness make him virtually impossible to defend.

Advantage – Georgia Tech

Bench –

Peacock makes a huge difference for Georgia Tech. In two games in Greensboro, he is averaging eight points and four rebounds per game. He also has a big impact on the defensive end of the floor. Mo Miller relieves the Jackets’ guards, and is probably their best ball handler.

State’s bench is pretty weak. Wood will likely start today after coming off the bench last night. He has simply been too good to keep off the floor in a huge game like this. Nobody else for the ‘Pack that does not start makes any real impact.

Advantage – Georgia Tech

Coaching –

These are two coaches that seem to have their teams playing their best come conference tournament time. Paul Hewitt and Sidney Lowe are both infamous for underachieving teams until the ACC Tournament rolls around, when they make shocking runs towards the finals. Both coaches have been here before, but Hewitt has a few more years of experience than Lowe. Neither coach is known for making the best tactical adjustments, though.

Advantage- Georgia Tech

Intangibles –

NC State has very little business playing in this game. They essentially managed to stink it up less than its opponent for two straight nights. It is unlikely to happen again.

Georgia Tech, meanwhile, needs to put together two good halves of basketball. Against North Carolina, the Yellow Jackets erased a 10-point halftime deficit to win. Against Maryland, they enjoyed a 19-point lead in the first half before having to withstand a furious second-half rally to beat the Terps.

As far as intangibles go, NC State has much more to play for in this game. The Jackets have already secured their at-large spot in the big dance, while the ‘Pack’s only chance to make the field is to win the conference tournament. Prepare to see coach Lowe’s team play its heart out.

Advantage- NC State


Georgia Tech 64, NC State 55


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