While Miami plays runaway, rest of the ACC scrambling for a foothold

Preseason favorite N.C. State would drop below .500 in league play with a loss to Clemson on Sunday

Clemson forward K.J. McDaniels tries to block a pass by Georgia Tech's Kammeon Holsey in the first half.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Clemson forward K.J. McDaniels tries to block a pass by Georgia Tech's Kammeon Holsey in the first half.

While Miami has turned the conference race into its own personal playground, there are plenty of struggling teams to go around, up and down the ACC standings.

Pre-season favorite N.C. State (5-5) comes to Littlejohn Coliseum today trying to keep from falling below .500, while defending champion Florida State (5-5) stands dead-even after a dismal showing on Saturday against Wake Forest.

The Wolfpack and Seminoles are one game back of North Carolina, which fell to 6-4 after being blown out by the Hurricanes, 87-61, on Saturday.

Duke (7-2) and Virginia (6-3) have their heads above water heading into their Sunday games - the Blue Devils at Boston College and the Cavaliers at Maryland.

Clemson (4-6) is being chased by improving Wake Forest and Georgia Tech.

Today's Game

Site: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000)

Time: 1:07 p.m.

Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports Network (Pete Yanity - play-by-play; Philip Sikes - color)

TV: ACC Network (Steve Martin - play-by-play; Mike Gminski - color)

The Series

Overall: NC State leads 98-48

at Clemson: NC State leads 31-30

at Littlejohn: Clemson leads 23-17

at NC State: NC State leads 47-13

at Neutral: NC State leads 20-5

First Meeting: NC State won, 22-15, in 1923-24

Last Meeting: NC State won, 66-62, on Jan. 20

Streak: NC State won the last meeting

Noteworthy

• Clemson and NC State will meet for the second time this season, and for the 147th time in series history. NC State holds the all-time advantage, 98-48, and won earlier this season in Raleigh, 66-62, on Jan. 20.

• Clemson is coming off a pair of road losses to Boston College and Virginia, but has won four straight at Littlejohn Coliseum over ACC foes entering Sunday’s game.

• NC State has lost three straight, the last two without injured starting point guard Lorenzo Brown against the ACC’s top two teams, Miami and Duke.

• The Wolfpack won the first meeting between the two teams on Jan. 20, a 66-62 final margin after Clemson had tied it late on two occasions.

• Clemson has won four straight at home over NC State, including last year in overtime. The last Wolfpack win at Littlejohn was in 2005-06, when Herb Sendek’s team prevailed 94-85 in double overtime.

• Devin Booker had a career-high 27 points in the first meeting with NC State. He made a career-best 13 field goals on 18 attempts, and played all but one minute at PNC Arena.

• Sunday’s game will feature two of the ACC’s top rebounders. In fact, NC State’s Richard Howell (3.9) and Clemson’s Booker (3.2) rank one and two in the conference in terms of offensive rebounds per game. Howell is one of two players in the ACC averaging a double-double.

• Booker is now 15th in Clemson history with 672 career rebounds, and needs just eight to move into 14th place.

• Rod Hall had his top game of the season at NC State on Jan. 20. He scored 16 points and was 7-for-13 from the field, scoring 12 of his 16 after halftime.

• K.J. McDaniels was Clemson’s only double figure scorer in Thursday’s lopsided defeat at Virginia. The sophomore posted 10 points, the 13th time in 22 games he has recorded double figures in the scoring column. That figure is second on the team behind only Booker.

• Bernard Sullivan has scored in four straight appearances, shooting 6-of-9 from the field during that stretch.

• Jordan Roper has been Clemson’s top freshman scorer each of the last two games, posting 11 at Boston College before tallying eight last time out at Virginia.

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Comments » 1

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! What a joke. Great game management down the stretch by Brad Brownell. Lost a home game you should've won. Only a 3 beats you in the closing moments and you know they only run 3-point plays for Wood... and yet you give up a 3 to Wood to lose the game. Freakin' brilliant Brad Brownell. Now Greg Wallace or some other homer will have a postgame blurb tomorrow full of rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns about all the positive things to take away from this loss... like how WONDERFUL Jordan Roper played. How 'bout some honesty and tough reporting about how the ACC stage just may be too big for Brad Brownell?

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