Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The LSU Tigers and NC State Wolfpack get together in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, as the two teams meet at Consol Energy Center on Thursday night.
The winner advances to face either 16th-seeded Lafayette or No. 1 seed Villanova in the round of 32 on Saturday.
LSU is the No. 9 seed in the East Region, the team posting a 22-10 record on the season and winning 11 of its 18 SEC bouts. The Tigers, who are 24-23 all- time in the NCAA Tournament, this being their 21st appearance, have lost two of their last three games, including a 73-70 overtime defeat versus Auburn in the SEC Tournament last Friday.
NC State was awarded the eighth seed in the East after logging a 20-13 mark, and going 10-8 in the always tough ACC. The Wolfpack had a three-game win streak stopped by Duke in the ACC Tournament, 77-53, as it was only the second loss for the team in its last eight games. NC State is making its 26th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and owns a record of 35-24, which includes championship runs in both 1974 and 1983.
While this bout marks the first meeting between the two schools in men's basketball, NC State coach Mark Gottfried has faced LSU plenty of times during his lifetime, as he was formerly a player and coach at Alabama, logging an 18-10 record versus the Tigers in both capacities.
LSU is a potent offensive team, utilizing the talents of four double-digit scorers in putting up 73.7 ppg. Jarell Martin (16.9 ppg, 9.2 rpg) and Jordan Hickey (15.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 3.6 bpg) have been the best of the bunch, with Keith Hornsby (13.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg) and Tim Quarterman (11.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 3.9 apg) making significant contributions as well. As a team, the Tigers are hitting their shots 45.6 percent of the time, while the opposition is doing so at just a 40.1 percent clip in producing 67.7 ppg. LSU is on the positive side of the ledger in rebounding (+2.3), but is guilty of nearly 15 miscues per outing in coming in at a -0.9 turnover differential.
Not to be outdone, NC State has done a nice job filling the basket as well, the team turning in 70.4 ppg behind typical shooting efforts of .437 overall and .361 from 3-point range. The Wolfpack have three players handling most of the heavy lifting, at least offensively, with Trevor Lacey (15.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.4 apg), Ralston Turner (13.2 ppg) and Anthony Barber (12.1 ppg, 3.8 apg) leading the way. Defensively, NCSU is giving up 65.4 ppg, with foes shooting just 40.3 percent from the floor overall and 33.2 percent beyond the arc. The Pack are also in the black when it comes to corralling looses balls (+3.3), but -0.5 in turnover margin, although they are guilty of only 10.5 giveaways per outing.