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Preview: #4 Duke Blue Devils (27-8) vs. #11 NC State Wolfpack (25-14)

NCAA Tournament Regional Finals

Sunday, March 31 • 5:05 p.m. ET
American Airlines Center (20,000) • Dallas, TX

The number 4 seeded Duke Blue Devils face the red hot NC State Wolfpack with a trip to the Final Four on the line.

Series & Game Info


Overall Duke leads, 152-104
In Durham, NC Duke leads, 67-30
at Cameron Indoor Stadium Duke leads, 54-26
In Raleigh, NC Duke leads, 49-44
at PNC Arena Duke leads, 10-8
Neutral Sites Duke leads, 23-18
Last Meeting Duke 69, @NC State 74 (March 14, 2024)

Game Info

TV/Video Stream CBS
Play-by-Play Ian Eagle
Analyst Bill Raftery
Analyst Grant Hill
Sideline Tracy Wolfson
Producer Mark Wolff

Radio Blue Devil Sports Net.
PxP/Color David Shumate/John Roth
In Durham 96.5 FM & 620 AM

Westwood One
PxP/Color Ryan Radtke/PJ Carlisemo
SiriusXM 201 & 208

The Teams

NC State Wolfpack

The Wolfpack enter Sunday as one of the hottest teams in the nation with an 8 game winning streak. NC State is currently sitting on 25 wins and 14 loses. The ACC Tournament Champions, the Wolfpack took down both Duke and UNC in the process. Their journey to the regional finals include victories over Texas Tech, Oakland and Marquette the 2 seed.

The Wolfpack are led in points by graduate student DJ Horne who scores it at 16.8 points per game. Another graduate student, DJ Burns, comes in second in scoring for NC State at 12.6 points per game, he’s followed by 2 other double-figure scorers in senior Casey Morwell at 11.5 and junior guard Jayden Taylor at 11.4. Michael O’Connell, another senior guard leads the Wolfpack in assists at 3.2 points per game and the leading rebounder for the Wolfpack is Mohamed Diarra at 7.9 per contest. Horne leads the team in 3pt field goal percentage at 41%.

Duke Blue Devils

Duke currently sits at 27 wins and 8 loses. The Blue Devils are fresh off of knocking off the 1-seed Houston Cougars, before that the Devils dispatched of Vermont and James Madison to reach the Regional Final.

Led by sophomore big Kyle Filipowski who is scoring at a 16.6 points per game and 8.3 rebounds, both team highs. Duke boasts 4 other double-figure scorers including senior Jeremy Roach at 14 points a game and 3.3 assists. Freshman Jared McCain is right behind roach in terms of scoring at 13.8 points per game and 5 rebounds in his first season in Durham. Mark Mitchell adds 11.8 points to the Blue Devil tally per game along with 6 rebounds. Tyrese Proctor leads the Blue Devils in assists per game at 3.7, the Aussie rounds out the double-figure scorers at 10.8 points per game.

Stats Comparison

Duke 35 40.0 28.1 58.7 .480 19.8 36.6 .540 8.4 22.0 .380 14.4 20.0 .720 10.6 25.9 36.5 15.4 6.6 3.6 9.7 15.7 79.0
NC State 39 40.5 27.4 60.7 .451 20.3 40.3 .504 7.1 20.4 .348 14.4 19.7 .733 10.3 25.1 35.4 13.1 7.3 3.6 9.6 16.3 76.3

Projected Lineup

Duke Blue Devils

G Jeremy Roach 6’2, 180lbs SR
G Jared McCain 6’3, 197lbs FR
G Tyrese Proctor 6’5, 183lbs SO
F Mark Mitchell  6’9, 232lbs SO
C Kyle Filipowski 7’0, 248lbs SO

NC State Wolfpack

G Michael O’Connell 6’2, 195lbs GR
G Casey Morsell 6’3, 200lbs GR
G Jayden Taylor 6’4, 195lbs JR
F DJ Burns Jr. 6’9, 275lbs GR
F Mohamed Diarra 6’10, 215lbs JR


There was one significant reason for Duke to lose to the Wolfpack after beating them handily in their first matchup. Guard play. The Blue Devils guards provided very little offensively against the Wolfpack, whether it was better defense by NC State or a lack of focus with the Blue Devils, they will have to play better. The Blue Devils guards shot a combined 7-28 in their lone ACC Tournament game and just 3-14 from beyond the arc. The backcourt ended the game tallying just 23 points between Jeremy Roach, Jared McCain and Tyrese Proctor. They Collectively didn’t defend the perimeter well either allowing the Wolfpack to shoot nearly 44% from beyond the arc.

If Duke’s backcourt can come out and make a statement as they have so far in the tournament then Duke has a very good chance of advancing. They have to play with pace, patience but also aggressiveness of both ends. Guards win in March and NC State, like Duke, has really good guards. DJ Horne, Casey Morsell, Jayden Taylor and Michael O’Connell are as good a backcourt as anywhere in the country and they’ve proven that on this winning streak.

Another statistic that the Blue Devils have to shore up is the offensive glass, more specifically their scramble defense after an offensive board. The Blue Devils actually did out-rebound the Wolfpack 39-35, even had more offensive rebounds ( 11-9 ) but Duke allowed the Wolfpack to score 18 second chance points off of their 9 offensive boards while Duke only scored 8 points off of their 11.

It will be defense and intangibles that will rule the day, whichever team wins the 50-50 balls, enforces their will on the glass and makes the plays in the margins that moves on to a Final Four.