Just two days removed from an important win over Syracuse over the weekend, the Yellow Jackets host the Wolfpack Tuesday night in an attempt to help clarify a foggy post season picture.
Georgia Tech (16-11, 7-7 ACC) has plenty of quality wins on their 2016-17 season resume, but has to win the obvious ones down the stretch to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.
North Carolina State (14-14, 3-12) won two of three after losing to Georgia Tech back in January, but then lost seven games in a miserable streak the Wolfpack brings with them to Atlanta Tuesday night.
Last Time Out:
On Sunday night, the Jackets held off the Orange, climbing back to an even 7-7 in Atlantic Coast Conference play on the season, and bolstering Tech’s post season opportunities in the 71-65 win.
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The win moved the Yellow Jackets to 14-3 on the season at home, and was the third in Tech’s last four games.
Ben Lammers scored 23 points for the Jackets as Tech beat Syracuse in field goal and three point percentage, as well as the turnover battle. Lammers also had seven rebounds on the night.
Tadric Jackson put up 20 points of his own Sunday night off the bench, including a pair of three pointers, and he did it all in just 25 minutes on the floor.
Know the Opponent:
NC State is 1-7 on the road so far this season, and 3-12 in ACC play, and desperately need a win to break a seven-game skid, and stay above .500 overall.
The Wolfpack are averaging an impressive 79.4 points-per-game, but are allowing over 80, which makes their mediocre record less surprising. The team has been losing, but most of those losses weren’t embarrassing blowouts, but close, competitive games.
NC State holds a 56-39 over Georgia Tech historically, and the series has been close of late, with 18 of the last 22 games being decided by 10 points or less, including three overtime decisions.
Players to Watch:
Georgia Tech: G Josh Okogie
Last time these two teams faced off the Wolfpack didn’t have an answer for freshman sensation Josh Okogie, as he put up 27 points. He’s averaging over 15 points a game, and when he gets hot, he’s been hard to stop. Less scientifically speaking, Okogie is due for a big game.
NC State:G Dennis Smith, Jr.
Averaging almost 19 points, Dennis Smith led both teams in individual scoring with 31, and has had several big games during his team’s latest losing skid. Smith needs to keep churning out big numbers in the hope he can get some consistent support from his teammates if the Wolfpack has a chance against the Jackets.
One of the most exciting young teams in America hosts one of the saddest late-season skids in college basketball, and has a lot on the line. The Jackets have already beaten the Wolfpack on the road and will continue the season sweep at home. Georgia Tech has won six consecutive home games. Make it seven. Tech rolls.