ATLANTA -- N.C. State came into the 59th ACC Tournament needing at least two victories to have a chance at an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Wolfpack accomplished the first part of that quest by taking care of Boston College 78-57 on Thursday.
State road the strong shooting of Scott Wood (22 points) and got balanced scoring from the other starters to dispatch the Eagles. NCSU led by just nine points with seven minutes left but quickly grew the lead to put away the young club from BC.
N.C. State, which advances to play Virginia in the quarterfinals here at Philips Arena on Friday, improved its record to 21-11. BC finished its season at 9-22.
Here are both teams' grades for their performances Thursday:
BC offense: These kids do run the offense, and sometimes they run it well. But BC just doesnt have the horses to effectively get good looks when a team as physically gifted as N.C. State plays hard on defense. BC converted just 38.6 percent of its field goal attempts. Grade: C-.
N.C. State offense: The Wolfpack was aggressive, got some good looks for Scott Wood, and did a nice job scoring on the offensive glass. Wood drained 5 of 9 from 3-point range, and overall the Pack was 8-19 (42.1 percent) from beyond the arc. Stat shot just 43.3 percent from the floor, a figure that should have been higher with better shot selection. Grade: C.
BC defense: Solid at best, mediocre at worst. Some NCSU buckets were simply excellent plays by the Wolfpack. Held State to 43.3 percent from the floor. Grade: C.
N.C. State defense: The Pack isnt bad defensively when it makes it a priority, which wasnt always the case in stretches Thursday. It's just that the five guys on the floor arent always dialed in. But, given that BC made just 22 of 57 shots from the floor, its safe to say the Pack did more than enough defensively to get the win. Grade: C.
BC intangibles: The Eagles were outmanned from the outset and were down 14-0 but kept fighting. Theres very little give-up in this team, and it showed. From a basketball skills perspective, BC just wasnt very sharp. Grade: C.
N.C. State intangibles: State knows what must be accomplished this weekend, and by getting off to a 14-0 lead says it was ready to attack its goals. Senior C.J. Williams said in the locker room after the game that the Pack isnt here to win enough games, We are here to win the ACC championship. We are focused one game at a time, but we came here to win four. Grade: A.