Teams: Syracuse Orange (15-8, 9-7) vs. NC State Wolfpack (13-9, 9-8)
Day & Time: Wednesday, March 10, noon ET
Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, N.C.
Line: N/A just yet
TV/Streaming: ACC Network, WatchESPN
Radio: Cuse.com, TK 99/105, WAER 88.3
NC State Blog: Backing the Pack
Rivalry: 9-6, Syracuse
Current Streak: 2, Syracuse
First Meeting: December 4, 1990 featured the first matchup between Syracuse and NC State at the Carrier Dome. The Orange won 86-79 off 24 points and 17 rebounds from junior Dave Johnson.
Last Meeting: Syracuse picked up one of its two road wins this season back on February 9 in Raleigh against NC State. 28 points in the paint and 21 points off 20 NC State turnovers helped the Orange pick up a 77-68 victory over the Wolfpack. Alan Griffin led all scorers with 22 points.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Jim Boeheim (45th year, 1,080-407) | NC State - Kevin Keatts (4th year, 78-45)
Coach Bio: Keatts played his collegiate ball at D-III Ferrum College before starting his coaching career as an assistant at Southwestern Michigan for a season. He then moved to Hargrave Military Academy to take an assistant job for two seasons before being promoted to head coach. Keatts stayed for two seasons before taking an assistant job at Marshall. After two years, he returned to the head coaching role at Hargrave for an additional eight seasons.
Keatts then moved to Louisville as an assistant in 2011, where he stayed for three years and was part of the now-vacated 2013 Cardinals national championship team. Keatts then took his first D-1 head coaching job at UNC Wilmington, where he qualified for the NCAA tournament in two out of his three seasons with the Seahawks. Keatts took the NC State job in 2017 and made the NCAA tournament with the Wolfpack in his first season. NC State has won at least 20 games every season under Keatts.
Last Year: NC State won only one game versus a ranked opponent in 2019-20, but that win was a blowout victory over No. 6 Duke 88-66. The Blue Devils would get revenge later in the season as the Wolfpack finished 10-10 in conference play, good enough for the five-seed in the ACC tournament. NC State beat Pittsburgh in its first matchup of the tournament, but would be denied a rubber game against Duke in the following round due to the event’s cancellation.
Last Game: NC State won its fifth straight game to close out the regular season with an 80-69 victory over Notre Dame on March 3. The Wolfpack shot 54.1% from the floor and 39.1% from three. By comparison, the Fighting Irish could only muster up a 37.5% field goal percentage.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: While the freshmen are starting to help out for NC State, this is still very much Jericole Hellems’ team to lead. He still leads NC State in points per game with 13.1 and is tied for second on the team in rebounds per game with 5.3. He plays the high-post role for the Wolfpack against Syracuse’s zone.
If Syracuse Wins: We continue our favorite tradition: making Joe Lunardi sweat about Syracuse and the bubble all the way to Selection Sunday.
If Syracuse Loses: We start placing bets on whether Jim Boeheim will take his squad to Dallas for the NIT.
Fun Fact: Syracuse and NC State have met once before in the ACC tournament, back in 2014. The Orange lost 66-63 that day… and we’d rather not bring up how that game ended.