Teams: Syracuse Orange (11-14, 4-11) vs. No. 4 NC State (24-3, 15-1)
Day & Time: Sunday, February 20, 2 p.m.
Location: Reynolds Coliseum, Raleigh, NC
TV/Streaming: ACC Network Extra
Radio: Cuse.com, ESPN 97.7
Rivalry: NC State, 8-4
Current Streak: NC State, 4
First Meeting: The Orange and Wolfpack first met at the end of December 1995, with NC State winning 79-70 in the very valuable town of Greensboro, NC.
Last Meeting: The Wolfpack came into Syracuse with the No. 2 ranking on Feb. 28, 2021. NC State came away with a 68-61 win that the Wolfpack had to gut out. The Orange led by one at the half and used a big second-half run to retake the lead with a little less than six minutes left after NC State had pushed the lead to double-digits. Kiara Lewis accounted for nearly half of Syracuse’s offense with 29 points.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Vonn Read (1st year, 11-14) | NC State - Wes Moore (9th year, 214-67)
Coach Bio: Moore has been a head coach at the college level since 1987. He spent over a decade at the non-Division I level with stops at Maryville and Frances Merion. Beginning in 1998, he took over at Chattanooga. He turned in a losing season in his first year but quickly built the Mocs into a force to be reckoned with at the mid-major level.
From 2001-2004, he made four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the second round in ‘04. Three of his teams went undefeated in the SOCON. After 15 seasons, he was ready for a bigger challenge and took the NC State job.
After a few middling seasons, Moore built the team into a national power. The Wolfpack have made three straight Sweet 16s (not counting the 2019-20 season when the tournament was canceled) and look to be heading toward a deeper run this season.
Last Year: NC State finished last season with a 22-3 mark and 12-2 record in conference play. The Wolfpack earned a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament after winning it all in Greensboro but sustained a loss to Indiana in the Sweet 16 for a premature exit in March.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Given Syracuse’s struggles against post players, this one is pretty obvious. Elissa Cunane scores a team-high 13.1 points per game and grabs almost eight boards per game. She’s got a good touch from outside the paint, and should give the Orange fits on Sunday afternoon.
If Syracuse Wins: Well, anything’s possible, but if the Orange win, you should probably go buy a lottery ticket.
If Syracuse Loses: The odds of Vonn Read keeping the head coaching job and escaping the interim tag slip even lower as the regular season draws closer to ending.
Fun Fact: After giving up 102 points on Thursday, the Orange are going to be up against it again on Sunday. The Wolfpack leads the ACC in scoring with 76 points per game. It’s not something Syracuse is comfortable with, but it might need to slow the game down if it wants to have any hope of staying close.