ACC live blog: NC State knocks off UVa - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

ACC live blog: NC State knocks off UVa

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  • Tudor: NC State will beat Miami if ...

    Tudor: NC State will beat Miami if ...

    Friday, March 15 2013 5:28 PM EDT2013-03-15 21:28:30 GMT
    Veteran sports writer Caulton Tudor is writing for WNCN.com in tournament play. Here is his analysis of N.C. State so far:N.C. State will beat top-seeded Miami in Saturday's ACC Tournament semifinals if: •
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -

WNCN is live-blogging all the ACC Tournament games. Here's a courtside report from Friday's State-Virginia game.

4:35 p.m., strong effort: You have to be impressed by N.C. State's effort in this one, a 75-56 win over Virginia in the ACC quarterfinals. Richard Howell was his usual amazing self, and State needed him against a physical Virginia team.

C.J. Leslie, much maligned by Wolfpack fans for his erratic play, continued to have a strong tournament. Leslie went to the basket strong and even dove - yes, really - for a loose ball.

Scott Wood was brilliant, especially early in the second half when his three straight three-pointers buckled the knees of the Cavaliers. Those body blows knocked the wind out of Virginia and the Cavaliers were never really in the game after that.

N.C. State plays Miami Saturday at 1 p.m.

Scott Wood had 23 in this one, T.J. Warren 18 and Leslie 17.

4:26 p.m., State up easily: N.C. State is up 73-52 in this one. Why the Pack is fouling, with 1:11 left, is sort of hard to understand. But either way, the Pack is in clear command.

4:07 p.m., Pack hanging on: Virginia is trying to make a game of this. The Cavaliers got a break when T.J. Warren was called for a technical for dropping a ball on a downed Virginia player, and Joe Harris made one of two foul shots. Harris then made a three-pointer - a four-point swing on that possession - and Virginia had cut State's lead to 55-42.

The Cavaliers got it to 55-44 but State just had a manly effort on the offensive glass. Richard Howell and C.J. Leslie fought for offensive boards, and Leslie grabbed one, scored and was fouled. His free throw put State ahead 60-44 and there;s 7:18 to play now.

Virginia just got a couple of easy buckets and it's 60-48 State now.

3:51 p.m., Pack hustling: N.C. State is simply outhustling Virginia. C.J. Leslie - C.J. Leslie! - just went to the floor chasing a loose ball. So much of tournament play is simply about desire, and the Pack is showing that across the board today. Leslie, by the way, is very aggressive on offense - even on his misses, he's around the basket and attacking the rim.

3:40 p.m., Pack up in 2nd half: Scott Wood is on fire for N.C. State in the second half. He just nailed another three-pointer and the Wolfpack is surging ahead, 41-25. Wood just hit three three-pointers in a row for State, and it's 41-25 N.C. State now.

The Cavaliers just called timeout with 17:29 showing in the half.

Remember, Virginia is not the most exciting offensive team in the world, and doesn't score points in bunches, so a 16-point deficit is big for the Cavaliers.

One oddity of the ACC Tournament is the bands alternate who plays when. So when Virginia called time, it was their bands turn. They broke into a rendition of "Lean on me," which seemed strange after Wood just whacked their team so badly.

3:21 p.m., good half for NCSU: N.C. State leads 30-21 at halftime, and this was an impressive effort for the Wolfpack.

One player who stands out for State, when you see him up close, is Tyler Lewis. The freshman seemed deep on the depth chart early in the season, and appeared diminutive when you saw him on TV. But up close, he looks capable of handling a physical game like this one with Virginia.

Lewis doesn't appear bothered when rugged players try to challenge his dribble. He has a way of pushing them off and going where he wants to go. And he's simply a deft passer. Late in the first half, Lewis drove the lane into heavy traffic and then fed outside to T.J. Warren for an easy jump shot.

Lewis is definitely a pass-first player. Even when he has open shots, he often drives to dish to someone else. Long-term, he'll have to shot he can hit those shots to emerge as a front-line ACC player.

As for the first half, Warren had 10 points and C.J. Leslie nine for N.C. State. Joe Harris had nine to pass the Cavaliers.

Both teams struggled on offense. State hit only 11 of 27 shots (Lorenzo Brown was 1 for 5) and Virginia made only 9 of 28. The Cavaliers were a brutal 1 of 10 from three-point range, with Harris going 1 for 5.

State also outrebounded Virginia 20-14 in the fist half. The only player with two fouls on either team is State's Brown.

3:13 p.m., Pack ahead: N.C. State guard Tyler Lewis just bounced a pass behind him to Scott Wood, who nailed a three-pointer. That moved State to a 27-16 lead, and Virginia responded with a three-pointer of its own.

Right now, it's 27-19 with 3:24 left in the first half.

From NCSU's perspective, you have to impressed by the Wolfpack's defense. State looks quick and confident on the floor and Virginia is having a hard time getting decent shots. Cavs star Joe Harris has nine points, but the team overall is shooting a pedestrian 8 of 21 from the field.

3:00 p.m, nice move: Beautiful move by C.J. Leslie, who drove in, scored and was fouled. Virginia has a really sticky, aggressive defense - lots of hand-checking and slapping, and you can tell it's hard to move the ball around. You could just see State's Tyler Lewis push away a Virginia defender who tried to reach in.

But State has played with a lot of tenacity so far. Leslie's move and shot was exactly what State has to do - be strong with the ball and get inside. It's 17-10 now, N.C. State.

2:53 p.m., great shot: Lorenzo Brown hits a long three-pointer for State, and lets his hand hang a while as he backpedals downcourt. Pretty shot.

Interesting defensive matchup for State has Scott Wood on Joe Harris. Right now it's 12-8 NCSU with 11:58 to play.

2:46 p.m., close early: It's a low-scoring game so far here in in Greensboro. There is really a ton of red in the building - State's section, behind the Wolfpack bench, is packed with red-clad fans.

T.J. Warren just scored on a beautiful drive for State and it's 7-4 Wolfpack. And C.J. Leslie just missed a driving dunk - although there was a big challenge from a UVa defender.

Leslie is 2-for-2 for five points already, a good sign for the Pack.

2:25 p.m., preview: N.C. State is on the floor, and Karl Hess is not, as the Wolfpack and Virginia get ready for today's ACC quarterfinal game in the ACC Tournament.

Hess is the official who threw out Chris Corchiani and Tommy Gugliotta in a game last February at PNC Arena.

State fans can exhale now.

This should be a fascinating contest. State looked balanced and athletic in its first-round win over Virginia Tech, and the Wolfpack exuded confidence coming into this game. Coach Mark Gottfried pointed out that in the loss in Charlottesville, forward C.J. Leslie had a cold and guard Lorenzo Brown got injured.

State plays a good, but certainly not great, UVa team. Many area fans remember the stunning night Cavaliers star Joe Harris had against Duke, but Harris struggled as the season finished. It will be interesting to see how State defends him, and how he plays, today.

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