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ACC Roundup - State’s Collapse Continues

Things get ugly as fans boo Mark Gottfried in Raleigh

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NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at North Carolina State
Feb 15, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried reacts during the second half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at PNC Arena. The Tar Heels won 97-73. 
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Is everyone feeling sorry for Mark Gottfried now? The good news: State’s latest loss was only about half as bad as it was the last time.

Of course, the last time it was 51 points, so losing by 24 is better like being hit in the jaw is better than being hit in the gonads.

It probably won’t hurt as much, but it’s still no fun.

UNC never trailed in this game and at one point, the Tar Heels had almost as many points in the paint (42) and State had overall (49).

Isaiah Hicks and Theo Pinson both returned but Kenny Williams is scheduled for surgery. It’s kind of late for that so the odds of him making it back this season are kind of thin. He really helped UNC’s defense this year but if Pinson stays healthy he can probably make it up.

Kennedy Meeks, Pinson and Hicks shot 75% each. Joel Berry shot 63%. Even Luke May got in on the fun, hitting 6-11. Of the primary players, only Justin Jackson shot poorly, hitting 6-16 (37.5%) and 2-8 from three point range.

The saddest part about this game? After it was over, Berry echoed what Wake’s Keyshawn Woods said about State after Wake’s laugher against the Pack: they just gave up.

They quit.

We admire BC because despite losing constantly, that teams always tries. Same for Clemson: the Tigers hit the skids this year for a while but kept battling.

State?

They gave up.

They quit.

You can forgive a lot of things but not competing is pretty hard to get past. One fan sort of acknowledged that: as the game came to its merciful conclusion, with a lot of people having already left and those who remained having little to cheer about, he stood up and yelled “I’m sorry, Dennis!”

His teammates should have apologized too.

However, State fans who are ready for a change should keep in mind that the Pack is just not that high in the national pecking order anymore. Several other jobs are likely to open up this spring, including perhaps Indiana. If you’re Archie Miller, yes you’re a State grad, but a choice between coaching at NC State or Indiana?

That’s not much of a choice for most people and factor this in too: Indiana should have a ton of money to throw at a coach and Debbie Yow, who apparently plans to retire in the next few years, doesn't have the best reputation with coaches. So Archie would have to not only be okay with that but with not knowing who he would be working for in a few years too.

In the night’s other game, Georgia Tech fell to Miami, 70-61.

To win, Miami had to overcome the following: Ja’Quan Newton was suspended for three games. Bruce Brown is playing with tonsilitis. Ebuka Izundu left the game 1:07 into the second half with a leg injury. Dewan Huell is playing with an injured foot.

Despite all of that, Miami overcame Georgia Tech.

Counting Huell, Brown and one half from Izundu, Miami went seven deep and still committed just six fouls to Tech’s 18.

It was an amazingly gutty performance by the Hurricanes. If State needs some inspiration, we know where they could look. Reed finished with 21; Huell and Dejan Vasilijevic both hit for 13.

As far as we’re concerned, if you’re looking for an argument that Miami belongs in the NCAA field, this game is it.

Ben Lammers finished with 15 and four blocks for Tech. Sidekick Josh Okogie, who has been a real revelation as Tech’s wing guard, hit 18.

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