What will be the GAME RESULT?
#2 Virginia: Wins By 10-15 Points
Any Other Result
NC State: (+450)
• The line for this game is Virginia by 11 points.
• A year after it was on the wrong end of perhaps the most stunning NCAA Tournament upset, Virginia starts another postseason filled with promise when it takes on eighth-seeded North Carolina State in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. The top-seeded Cavaliers became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in the Big Dance when it fell to Maryland-Baltimore Country last March in the very same venue, a result that has followed them around ever since. Virginia, which survived an overtime affair at N.C. State earlier this season, enters the ACC tourney as the No. 1 seed and with a 28-2 record for the second straight time, looking to win the event for the second straight year and for the fourth time in its history.
• It will contend with a Wolfpack squad that entered the tournament on the NCAA bubble and picked up a critical 59-58 win over Clemson in the second round Wednesday, rallying from a 16-point halftime deficit. Junior guard Markell Johnson’s two free throws with 2.6 seconds left capped a 23-point performance as N.C. State picked up its first victory in the conference tournament since 2016.
• After finishing the regular season with a convincing win at Boston College and then rallying past Clemson, Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts sees no reason for his team to be excluded from the NCAA Tournament. “We played great basketball all year long,” he told ESPN postgame. “You go 9-9 in this conference, you shouldn’t have to argue about that. A great win. We had a NET rating coming in at 32, and our guys played well.” Senior guard Torin Dorn, who led N.C. State in scoring during the regular season with 13.7 points per game, was held to eight against Clemson but tied his season high with 12 rebounds.
• The Cavaliers once again led the nation in scoring defense (54.6) but packed in a bit more offensive punch this season behind All-ACC first-teamers Kyle Guy (15.3) and De’Andre Hunter (15.2), who combined to hit 45.7 percent of their 289 attempts from 3-point range. Fellow guard Ty Jerome chips in 13.5 points per contest and an ACC-leading 5.3 assists. He was right around those averages with 12 points and six assists while Hunter scored 15 in the 66-65 OT victory at N.C. State on Jan. 29.
• Keatts told the media Wednesday that he was unsure if senior G Eric Lockett, who was reinstated from a suspension earlier this week, would play in the quarterfinals.
• Jerome averaged 20 points, 10 assists and three steals over his last two games.
• Virginia has won seven straight meetings since falling to N.C. State in the quarterfinals of the 2013 ACC Tournament. The winner meets either Florida State or Virginia Tech in the semifinals Friday.
Top Pick Record for Month: 11-6