Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 3/19/13
Record:24-10, 11-7 ACC RPI:33 Coach:Mark Gottfried, second year, second NCAA appearance Last NCAA tournament appearance:Lost to Kansas in Sweet 16 (2012) Notable wins:Connecticut, Duke, North Carolina Key Player Junior point guard Lorenzo Brown (12.1 points and 7.2 assists per game) led the ACC in assists and is responsible for finding North Carolina State's bevy of scorers, but he also must produce. When he is driving to the basket hitting runners and pull-up jumpers, everything else opens up from dump-downs to C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell inside to open 3-pointers for lethal shooter Scott Wood. The Wolfpack were 0-3 in the games Brown missed most or all of because of an ankle injury. Although he turns the ball over too much, Brown runs the show, and the better he plays the more potent N.C. State is. And given that this team isnt going to win playing defense, it must be quite effective with the ball to advance. X-Factor C.J. Leslie (14.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg) has more to do with how far the Wolfpack go in the tournament than any of his teammates, and he could be one of the most important players in the tournament. Few have his natural gifts, but few players also spend more standing completely upright and watching while on the floor. When he invests himself into games Leslie is outstanding, and often a breathtaking player. When not, no player in the country is a greater liability to his team. A 6-foot-9, long and ridiculously athletic, Leslie is an awesome spectacle in warm ups, but if hes not interested in performing, he can bring down the entire team. If focused, he could lead the Wolfpack to a special run. First Opponent Temple (23-9, RPI No. 42) is well coached by Fran Dunphy, who is in his seventh year at the helm. The Owls are paced by guard Khaliff Wyatt, who averages 19.9 points per game and can be dangerous from the perimeter. The Atlantic-10 Player of the Year, Wyatt also plays his best in big games and at crunch time, which is why he was named Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. He scored 33 points in a four-point win over Syracuse at Madison Square Garden in December. Temple, which played Kansas tough on the road, has also beaten Villanova, St. Louis and VCU. Did you know? The Owls went 8-8 from Dec. 8-Feb. 14, beginning with a 23-point loss to Duke and a shocking loss to RPI No. 227 Duquesne. Since then, however, Temple has gone 7-1 with six of the victories over teams with an RPI of 68 or better.
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