Found March 20, 2014 on Fox Sports Carolinas:
Here are three things we gleaned from No. 5 Saint Louis's overtime victory over 12th-seeded North Carolina State on Thursday -- a surreal classic that was equal parts exhilarating and frustrating ... for both cheering sections: 1. It was a tale of two (second) halves for an N.C. State club that had been enigmatic all season With 8:13 left in the second half, sophomore star T.J. Warren (28 points on 11-of-22 shooting) converted a seemingly innocuous layup for N.C. State, boosting the club's lead to 16 points (55-39). At the time, no one could have guessed that bucket would indirectly trigger a dispiriting downfall for the Wolfpack, the result of sloppy ball-handling and porous free-throw shooting (20 of 37 for the night). Not that Saint Louis fared any better from the charity stripe, hitting only 12 of 26 free throws -- making the Billikens' comeback victory (or the Wolfpack's come-from-ahead defeat) all the more vexing: To wit, even when Saint Louis trimmed its deficit to two or three points in the final two minutes, the club kept pressing and fouling (ignoring the 35-second shot clock), as if the Billikens were completely unaware of the altered circumstances on the scoreboard. Who does that? It was an odd sight to see Saint Louis so oblivious to the situation. And yet, N.C. State still couldn't close the deal, committing one turnover and sinking only 3 of 7 free throws in the final 78 seconds of regulation. In overtime, the Wolfpack could muster only three field goals against a fatigued Billikens defense that completely sold out on the premise of not allowing Warren to touch the ball in half-court sets (courtesy of SLU guard Jordair Jett -- 18 points, five rebounds). A brilliant move, in hindsight. Which brings us to this ... 2. If only T.J. Warren hadn't fouled out prior to the Wolfpack's final two possessions With Saint Louis leading by one and inbounding the ball from its own backcourt (from the side), North Carolina State had plenty of time (:29 seconds on the clock) to attempt a steal and then foul the Billikens (Plan B). By extension, Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried really had nothing to lose by inserting a defensive replacement for Warren during that foul-or-steal sequence, allowing the team's best player to rest up and avoid getting a fifth foul. Instead, Gottfried left Warren in the game; and when the Billikens' Rob Loe (22 points, 15 rebounds) caught a simple horizontal inbounds, Warren immediately fouled him -- possibly unaware of his own fouls tally. Can you imagine the Raleigh-based media querying Gottfried after the game? When trailing by one ... the last thing any Wolfpack fan wanted to see was Warren commit a foul that anyone on the N.C. State bench could have executed, without consequence. Fast forward two seconds of game action: After Saint Louis converted just one of two free throws, N.C. State -- now down two -- had a golden chance to force overtime or perhaps go for the win with 27 seconds left. With no timeout called and with Warren watching from the bench, the Wolfpack set out for the game- tying score. At first, guard Tyler Lewis (eight points, seven turnovers) tried to get the ball from Desmond Lee, but SLU's pressure defense along the perimeter was too tight. So, after a few zig-zag dribbles, Lee then made a beeline to the basket, only to miss on his off- balance jumper from the right side. After the Billikens added another free throw, Ralston Turner's long three-pointer fell short, ending the Wolfpack's season on a sour note. Reading the tea leaves for N.C. State, this was most likely Warren's final game in red and white, as he's slated to be a Round 1 pick in the upcoming draft (NBADraft.net slots him at No. 16 overall). Warren would certainly go out on a personal high note, though, scoring 20-plus points in his final 21 collegiate outings -- including back-to-back 40-plus games against Pittsburgh (March 3) and Boston College (March 9). 3. Louisville might have caught a break in avoiding N.C. State on Saturday Saint Louis (27-6 overall) plays a little faster in the Jim Crews era than it did a few years ago, under the defensive-minded, possession-squeezing Rick Majerus (who passed away a few months ago). But the Billikens still aren't a run-and-gun club, like Louisville, meaning it would have to immediately control the tempo to foster any chance of pulling off the upset. It's an interesting contrast between Louisville and Saint Louis: The Cardinals garnered plenty of national attention for being "under-seeded" at No. 4, the result of claiming their first five March victories by a staggering average of 29.6 points. The Billikens, in turn, were panned as perhaps the worst No. 5 seed of any region, partly due to a pair of bad losses to Duquesne and St. Bonaventure in recent weeks. And yet, in the eyes of the NCAA tournament committee, the schools have razor-thin differences. As for N.C. State, which was just seconds away from reaching the Round of 32 in four straight NCAA berths as a double-digit seed (2005, 2006, 2012), the Wolfpack can only look forward to playing the Cardinals next year ... as ACC brothers-in-arms.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Warren, NC State dominant in First Four win

DAYTON, Ohio - T.J. Warren's slow start to Tuesday night's First Four game included two quick fouls and a few forced shots against a swarming Xavier defense. Warren would recover. Xavier would not. The NCAA tournament selection committee made NC State and Xavier the final two teams in the field of 68, and it took Warren and his teammates only a little more than a half to...

T.J. Warren, Ralston Turner power N.C. State Wolfpack

After N.C. State’s ACC tournament win over Miami, Ralston Turner went with T.J. Warren to the post-game press conference. The players were asked a question, the soft-spoken Warren looked to Turner for help. That’s how it has been on the floor, too. While Warren has picked up N.C. State and carried the Wolfpack into the NCAA tournament, it has been the emergence of Turner that...

A Tale Of Three (Overtime) Cities: Oh What A Night

Buffalo’s Connecticut comeback. Orlando’s unthinkable ending for T.J. Warren and Mark Gottfried. Spokane’s spectacular display by North Dakota State, felling Lon Kruger’s lads. Three cities in three different corners of the United States. Three overtimes. Three tales of human emotions, swinging wildly before resting on opposite sides of the line between victory and defeat...

Kevin Durant Is A TJ Warren Fan, Gives Him A Shout-out On Twitter

ACC Player of the Year TJ Warren has to be upset after his Wolfpack was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament after having a 16 point lead over Saint Louis. Warren, one of the nation’s best scorers, received a surprising tweet today from perhaps the best scorer on the planet—Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant. Shoutout to @T24Warren on a great year!! The best has yet to come...

NC State beats Xavier to advance to Round of 64

Given a second chance, T.J. Warren put on a show in the NCAA tournament. The hard-to-guard sophomore forward scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half on Tuesday night, showing why he was the ACC's player of the year, and North Carolina State led most of the way in a 74-59 victory over Xavier in the NCAA tournament's First Four.

Gottfried stays positive, pushes right buttons for Wolfpack’s NCAA success

Mark Gottfried gathered his team around the NCAA logo at midcourt after a free-spirited practice on Wednesday at the sparkling Amway Center in downtown Orlando. N.C. State was all smiles, from the team managers to star T.J. Warren to Gottfried, for the impromptu team photo. The snapshot is a nice keepsake, a digital postcard. If you look close enough at their faces you can see the...

How Far Do You Have NC State In Your Office Pool Bracket?

If you have NC State as a one and done, or in this case a two and done, you might want to reconsider.The Wolfpack had a nice run in the ACC Tournament to earned on of the last spots in the NCAA Tournament.Tueaday night in their First Four NC State looked like a team that may have a significant run in the tournament. The Wolfpack took care of business defeating Xavier 74-59 led by...

NCAA Tournament Capsules

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) T.J. Warren scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half on Tuesday night, showing why he was the ACC's player of the year, and North Carolina State led most of the way in a 74-59 victory over Xavier in the NCAA tournament's First Four.

VIDEO: Hodge Talks Warren

After a 25-point performance in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, T.J. Warren is being showered with praise both nationally and within the NC State community. ACC and Wolfpack Legend Julius Hodge puts the season "Tony Buckets" is having in historical perspective.

Koch’s NCAA Picks – Thursday, March 20th

Send to KindleCredit: SDSU Athletics Well, it’s that time of the year again. It’s the best time to be a college basketball fan – or, if you prefer, a sports fan in general. Brackets unite us unlike anything else outside of the Super Bowl. And Warren Buffett has given us $1 billion reasons to do a little extra studying this March. It’s also time for me to submit myself to...

Winning is not free (throw)

It does not have to be pretty. But the team that made the “Survive and Advance” moniker famous failed to do that. NC State had an eight-point lead with about two minutes left and proceeded to miss free throw after free throw, leaving the door open for Saint Louis. The Billikens took advantage. Then in the overtime period, the Wolfpack’s best player drew an and-1 after a steal...

NC State handles Xavier, could be trendy upset pick over Saint Louis

Mark Gottfried's North Carolina State team was the last at-large squad in the 2014 NCAA Tournament field. We know this because the NCAA releases its 1-68 official seed list, and the last at-large name identified is the Wolfpack. But barely getting in the field doesn't matter -- once it's official. Just get in and see what happens. And what happened Tuesday night was...

2014 March Madness: Saint Louis Vs. NC State – Game Time, TV Schedule, Predictions

Twitter/@PackMensBball North Carolina State already has one NCAA Tournament win under its belt, after knocking off Xavier in Tuesday’s play-in game. The Wolfpack go from a former A-10 power to one of that conference’s best teams in 2014, Saint Louis. The winner of NC State-Saint Louis faces Louisville or Manhattan. Be sure to click here for more on NC State and Saint Louis...

NC State defeats Xavier 74-59 in the First Four

ACC: 1, A10: 0…suck on that Shaka Smart. Kidding of course. This has nothing to do with ACC pride or a non-controversial pissing contest between the VCU head coach and Duke’s Coach K. This is about winning a championship. This is about North Carolina State being one game closer to achieving that. The Wolfpack played their best game of the year (good time for it). In fact, the...
Wolfpack News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.