Final: NC State 59, Clemson 57
March, 11, 2010
By Pat Forde | ESPN.com
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Postgame thoughts from North Carolina State 59, Clemson 57.
- The Redcoat Revival is back on. For another day, at least. Wolfpack coach Sidney Lowe and his bright-red suit coach will live to coach in the ACC quarterfinals for the first time since he originally broke it out in his first year, 2007. That year, Lowe wore the coat four straight days as NC State made an improbable run to the final before losing to North Carolina.[+] EnlargeAndrew Synowiez/US PresswireNC State's Tracy Smith scored 19 points against Clemson on Thursday.
- This time, Wolfpack fans can revel in the fact that they've advanced farther than the rival Tar Heels in this tournament for the first time since 2004. Carolina was bounced Thursday night by Georgia Tech.
- The main force driving NC State into the quarterfinals was junior strongman Tracy Smith, who had 19 points and eight rebounds and was the team's only scorer in double figures.
- Clemson star Trevor Booker got frustrated in the late going with his lack of touches offensively. Given the inability of his teammates to make shots, it's hard to blame him. Booker should have gotten more than 11 shots, though that still was a team high and he scored a team-high 17 points.
- It was a good night for coaches on the hot seat. Paul Hewitt got a win over North Carolina in the first of two night games, and then Lowe followed up with the upset in the nightcap.
- And it was a good day in Greesnboro for underdogs. Seeds No. 12 (Miami), 11 (N.C. State) and 9 (Virginia) all will play in the quarterfinals Friday. Then again, that's nothing new. In the last five ACC tournaments, the 11 and 12 seeds are a combined 7-3 in the opening round.
- Horn-blower warning: In my witheringly insightful pre-tournament primer, I tabbed NC State as the most dangerous low seed and Wake Forest as the most vulnerable high seed. That's two calls correct in March with plenty of errant predictions so far.