3-point shot: Wolfpack's last chance

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
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1. N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said the emotional meltdown at Duke on Thursday did have a dramatic effect on the Wolfpack getting run out of the RBC Center by Florida State two days later. “We were running in mud, lethargic and disappointing,’’ Gottfried said. “For those 30 minutes at Duke we were as good as anybody in the country.’’ Tuesday night against North Carolina may be N.C. State's last chance to impress the selection committee. But Gottfried does make a strong point that three months ago you would not say "N.C. State" and "NCAA tournament" in the same sentence.

2. Central Florida’s NCAA issues haven’t received the same national attention that UConn’s did a year ago. But the Knights should be given similar treatment. Like Jim Calhoun, coach Donnie Jones sat out for three league games. On Monday the school released its response to the NCAA in advance of the April COI hearing. The most significant self-imposed hit was to vacate the past three seasons of wins in men’s basketball -- including Jones’ first season at the school last year. Scholarship and recruiting restrictions were also handed out. Jones is fortunate that UCF is keeping him on the job since he hadn’t built up much leverage before this investigation began.

3. Steve Lavin's announcement on Twitter that he’s cancer free after fall prostate surgery is tremendous news for him, his family and notably wife Mary, St. John’s, the Big East and college basketball. Lavin has been good for the game. He is unique with his ability to take over a room and his presence was much needed to make St. John’s relevant. He has recruited well, but now he has to get healthy to be back on the sideline and continue to lead a Red Storm resurgence. The Big East desperately needs St. John’s to matter in the upcoming years without West Virginia, Syracuse and Pitt.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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