Last season when these teams met in The ACC Tournament, it was in the semifinals. Durand Scott stole the show with a career high 32 points sending the 'Canes to the Finals and on their way to their fest ever conference tournament title.
And while tonight's game didn't quite carry the same drama, it was a highly spirited contest.
In the end though, turnovers doomed Miami as NC State closed the game on a huge run to defeat the Hurricanes 67-58 and advance to the ACC Tourney Quarterfinals.
It was all Pack early, as T.J. Warren capped a 10-2 run to start the game with a pull up jumper, and the 'Canes looked like they had tired legs on both ends of the floor.
UM did themselves no favors as well with several early turnovers.
The 'Canes got back in it with a couple of nice drives by Erik Swoope, but Ralston Turner answered right back with a three ball for a 5 point advantage.
Miami then flexed their muscles inside, and a pair of blocks by Raphael Akpejori and Tonye Jekiri led to a lay in by Garrius Adams, cutting the lead to 13-12.
That's when things picked up on both ends.
The Hurricanes got a major boost when Rion Brown poster dunked the Pack ruthlessly on a baseline drive that you are sure to see on Sportscenter tonight.
But just when momentum was on their side, the 'Canes committed another sloppy turnover that led to a Lennard Freeman dunk that kept NCSU ahead.
At the half it was 26-22 Pack, with Miami's 9 turnovers the key stat in the first 20 minutes. Warren had 12 points but was just 3-9 from the floor.
The second half was much better, at least for a while.
Brown opened the final 20 minutes with an acrobatic reverse lay in to cut the lead to 2, but a trifecta of turnovers by the Canes led to multiple run outs, and State built a 32-24 lead just 2 minutes in.
However Manu Lecomte stopped the bleeding with a pair of jumpers on 9-0 run that actually gave Miami their first lead.
But 2 more big giveaways gave it right back, and UM found themselves down 39-33 after a floater from Warren.
Brown canned a couple of big jumpers to tighten the gap, but the Pack kept getting second chances and Turner's 4th 3 of the game made it 47-40 at the 8 minute mark.
Things were not looking good for Miami.
A fantastic hustle play by Adams though that led to a rare Pack giveaway sparked a nice run, and Davon Reed knocked down a pretty 18 footer to cut the lead to 1 just 3 minutes later.
This seemed to fire up Reed and proceeded to shut down Warren defensively on one end and swished a three in transition on the other, and inexplicably UM took a 53-51 lead!!
But NC State came right back.
Turner tied it with a pair of FTs, and Warren scored on the blocks to take the lead right back.
Coming off a screen one possession later, Turner wasted no time popping a three ball to extend to a 5 point lead, and that pretty much did in the 'Canes
Miami had yet another costly turnover and Adams missed the front end of a one and one in the final minutes to stall any rally.
NCSU got a few run outs to make the game seem more comfortable than it was.
This likely ends UM's season. It was an interesting final few weeks in which the 'Canes showed great progress and tons of heart.
Lots more on this season from SOTU in the coming days.
|Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
|Tonye Jekiri, C||2-3||0-0||2-2||3||6||9||1||0||2||3||3||6|
|Erik Swoope, F||3-6||0-0||0-0||3||1||4||0||0||0||2||2||6|
|Manu Lecomte, G||2-3||1-1||2-2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||7|
|Garrius Adams, G||2-7||0-2||2-5||0||7||7||3||1||1||3||3||6|
|Rion Brown, G||8-15||1-5||5-6||1||3||4||1||1||0||4||4||22|
|Raphael Akpejiori, F||1-1||0-0||0-0||3||0||3||0||0||1||0||1||2|
|James Kelly, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Davon Reed, G||3-8||1-4||2-2||0||0||0||1||1||0||1||4||9|
|North Carolina State Wolfpack|
|Jordan Vandenberg, C||1-5||0-0||2-3||3||1||4||2||3||0||1||3||4|
|T.J. Warren, F||9-18||0-2||6-8||5||3||8||1||1||0||3||4||24|
|Kyle Washington, F||2-4||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||1||0||0||1||4|
|Tyler Lewis, G||0-3||0-2||0-0||0||0||0||4||0||0||0||2||0|
|Ralston Turner, G||7-12||5-8||3-4||0||1||1||0||1||0||0||2||22|
|Lennard Freeman, F||1-3||0-0||0-0||3||5||8||2||0||0||1||1||2|
|Beejay Anya, F||1-1||0-0||0-0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|Anthony Barber, G||2-5||0-0||1-2||0||0||0||7||2||0||0||3||5|
|Desmond Lee, G||1-2||0-0||2-2||0||2||2||1||0||0||0||1||4|
Technical Fouls: PLAYERS: None - TEAMS: None