NIT Basketball Tournament First Round continues tonight: NC State plays Davidson, 7 PM opening tip


NC State is making its second NIT appearance in last three seasons

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DENTON, TX – The NC State men’s basketball team opens play in the NIT Thursday when it faces Davidson at the UNT Coliseum.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on ESPN. NC State fans can also listen to Gary Hahn and Tony Haynes call the action on the Wolfpack Sports Network.

The NIT, which began in 1938, is the nation’s oldest postseason tournament.

Pack Tracks
– The Pack is making its 13th NIT appearance. NC State has an all-time record of 18-13 in the NIT. It made its last appearance in the NIT in 2019. The Pack won its first and second round contests before falling to Lipscomb, 94-93, in the quarterfinals.
– NC State had its five-game win streak snapped in the second round of the ACC Tournament last Wednesday when No. 8 seed Syracuse, defeated the Pack, 89-68. The Pack shot a season-low 36.2 percent in the loss while the Orange shot 56.7 percent and hit 14 three-pointers, the most allowed by NC State this season. D.J. Funderburk led the Pack with 14 points, while Manny Bates added 12 and Dereon Seabron finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.
– Senior guard Braxton Beverly scored his 1,000th career point during the Syracuse game. He is the 54th member of the 1,000 point club at NC State. The Hazard, Ky., native also passed out four assists against Syracuse, registering his 300th career assist during the game. Beverly and Engin Atsur (2004-07) are the only players in NC State history to score over 1,000 career points, pass out 300 career assists, hit 200 three-pointers and record over 100 career steals.
– The annual ACC awards were announced last Monday. Sophomore forward Manny Bates was named to the conference’s All-Defensive team. Bates is primed to lead the ACC in blocks for the second consecutive season. He is averaging 2.95 blocks per game and has had multiple blocked shots in 14 of 21 games this season. Junior forward Jericole Hellems earned honorable mention All-ACC honors. Hellems is averaging 13.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

Thursday Storylines
– This marks NC State’s 13th appearance in the NIT. The Pack has a 10-2 record all-time in its first game of the NIT. NC State has won seven straight first round NIT games with its last first round NIT loss happening in 1984 to Florida State.
– The Pack’s freshmen trio of Cam HayesShakeel Moore and Dereon Seabron are taking advantage of their increased opportunities. The trio led the Pack in the win over the Fighting Irish on March 3. They combined for 45 points on 18-of-29 (62.1%) shooting, 19 rebounds, eight assists and four steals. Seabron was named ACC Freshman of the Week for his efforts as he posted season-highs in points (17) and rebounds (13) for his first career double-double. Hayes added a season-high 20 points.
– Over the last two games, Dereon Seabron is averaging 14 points per game and 10.5 rebounds per game.
– The Pack announced on March 2 that junior guard Thomas Allen will miss the rest of the season with a left ankle injury. With senior guard Devon Daniels tearing his ACL at the end of January that leaves NC State with just four scholarship guards for the remainder of the season: two freshmen (Cam Hayes and Shakeel Moore), a redshirt freshman (Dereon Seabron) and a senior (Braxton Beverly).
– Freshman Cam Hayes is playing his best basketball of the season. The Greensboro native has now scored in double figures in four of the last six games. Hayes had not scored in double figures in 12 straight games prior to this five-game stretch. He scored 11 points, passed out a career-best nine assists and had three steals in the win over Pitt on Feb. 17. He had 11 points, five assists and three steals in the win at Wake Forest on Feb. 20. In the win at UVA, Hayes scored 16 points, hitting three three-pointers and went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the final 43 seconds as the Pack snapped UVA’s 15-game home winning streak. He closed the regular season with a season-best 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting in the win at Notre Dame. In the last six games, Hayes is averaging 12.2 points, 3.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game.
– Force at least 15 turnovers. When NC State forces an opponent into 15 or more turnovers this season the Pack is 10-1. When its opponent has less than 15 turnovers, NC State is 3-9. In the Pack’s 13 wins this season, opponents are averaging 17.5 turnovers per game. In its 10 losses, NC State’s opponents average just 12.4 turnovers. Davidson ranks 19th in the NCAA in turnovers per game, averaging to commit just 10.8 per game.
– When the Pack’s defense is stealing the ball and converting it into points NC State is tough to beat. The Pack is 10-0 when it scores 19 or more points off opponent turnovers this season, but just 3-10 when it scores 18 points or less off opponent turnovers.
– Manny Bates is on pace to lead the ACC for the second consecutive season. He currently leads the ACC and ranks 10th in the NCAA with his 2.82 blocks per game average. With 62 blocks on the season, Bates has eight more blocks than Davidson has as a team.
– Shooting percentage tells the story. In the Pack’s 13 wins this season, NC State is combining to shoot 50.3% from the field and hold its opponents to 41.1% shooting. In its 10 losses, the numbers are nearly reversed. The Pack is shooting 42.2% when it loses and its opponents are shooting 50.7%.
– Davidson is shooting 47.3% from the field this season, 39th in the NCAA and is averaging to hit 10 three-pointers per game this season which 15th in the NCAA. In its last outing, NC State gave up a season-high 14 three-pointers to Syracuse and allowed the Orange to shoot 56.7% from the field, In the five game win streak prior to the Syracuse game, NC State’s defense was limiting opponents to just a 39.5% field goal percentage, including 30.5% shooting from three-point range.
– In the 11 games since Devon Daniels was injured, forwards Manny BatesD.J. Funderburk and Jericole Hellems have combined to score 367 points (33.4 combined points an outing for the trio) and are shooting 144-of-284 (50.7%).
– The Pack is averaging 33.1 points in the paint in the 11 games since Devon Daniels was injured. With the loss of Daniels, NC State’s top-three scorers remaining are all forwards. After being outscored in points in the paint in five of its first six ACC games, the Pack has tied or outscored its opponents in points in the paint in 10 of the last 12 games. Only Syracuse has outscored the Pack in points in the paint in the last 12 games.

NC State – Davidson Series
– Thursday marks the 84th all-time meeting between the two programs.
– NC State leads the all-time series, 69-14, but a majority of those games were played prior to 1953. In the Pack’s ACC era (1953-present), NC State leads the series, 16-2.
– Davidson won the most recent match-up between the programs, defeating NC State, 72-67, on Dec. 6, 2008. Steph Curry scored 44 points for the Wildcats.


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