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Next Up - Wolfpack In The ACC Tournament

Our canine friends return.

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Can Derryck Thornton play great D on Cat Barber again?
Can Derryck Thornton play great D on Cat Barber again?
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The new teams in the ACC make things interesting, but at heart, most of us old school ACC fans love playing old school ACC teams, and especially in the tournament.

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So it's good to see our old friends from NC State on deck Wednesday.

The Pack got there by beating Wake Forest, 75-72.

State got a tremendous game from freshman Maverick Rowan, who ran wild in the second half. He had four points in the first half and finished with 24, featuring a career-high six threes. Abdul-Malik Abu had nine points and nine rebounds.

Cat Barber had 22.

Martin Daily Double: Caleb and Cody finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and  three assists.

Like Duke, State is very shallow and their seventh man, Lennard Freeman, is playing with an injury.

In the previous two games between Duke and State, Duke won 88-78 and 88-80.

In the first game, in Raleigh, State shot 51.7%. Cat Barber had 19 points and Rowan had 12.

Duke was led by Grayson Allen with 28 and Brandon Ingram with 25.

It's hard to remember now but this was at the point of maximum pessimism for Duke this season as Duke had just lost three straight games.

In the rematch, Allen had 28 while Luke Kennard had 26.

State shot 45.3%. Rowan had 17 while Barber finished with 26 after being shut out for most of the first half. Abu had a powerful game with 16 points and 17 rebounds.

As we suggested, both teams lack depth and either could wear down, although State just had an intense first-round match.

If Duke wins, the Blue Devils get Notre Dame next, and will be in the position State's in today: two games, two days, seven players.

One thing to keep an eye on: in the first half in Durham, Derryck Thornton's defense on Barber was nothing short of mesmerizing. Keep an eye on that battle.

Links for this game are here.