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No. 8 Seton Hall keeps No. 9 NC State at arm’s length in win

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Try as they might, NC State could just never close the gap.

Eighth-seeded Seton Hall topped the No. 9 Wolfpack, 94-83, by staking itself to a lead and keeping NC State at bay throughout the day.

The Pirates never trailed and led by as many as 13 points in the second half as Kadeem Carrington had 24 points and Desi Rodriguez 18 to advance to a second-round date Saturday against the Midwest’s top seed, Kansas, in its home state.

The Wolfpack trimmed the lead to as few as three in the second half and had a fleeting moment of optimism when they got within six points with under two minutes to play, but Seton Hall always had an answer, turning them away at every turn.

What should have been the matchup of the day, NC State’s Omer Yurtseven vs. Seton Hall’s Angel Delgado, never really got off the ground. Both players fouled out, but Delgado clearly had the better day with 13 points and nine rebounds to the two points and two rebounds for Yurtseven, who managed to play just 14 minutes.

NC State’s loss will overshadow a spectacular performance from senior Allerick Freeman. The Baylor transfer had 36 points on 12 of 19 shooting, including going 6 of 8 from 3-point range while playing all 40 minutes.

The Wolfpack finish 21-12 this season, having lost three of their last four games.

Seton Hall’s attention will now turn to the weekend with the Jayhawks waiting. Delgado figures to be a problem from Kansas if center Udoka Azubuike is limited with the knee injury that kept him out of the Big 12 tournament and limited him just three minutes in KU’s NCAA tournament opener against Penn. The matchup could pivot on that position with both teams strong on the perimeter and wing.

The Pirates have been solid in chasing teams off the 3-point line, which will be paramount against Kansas. The Jayhawks are reliant on taking and making a ton of 3s while Seton Hall has been successful in limiting opponents’ attempts.

Kansas’ defense hasn’t exactly been elite either, and with Seton Hall putting up 91 on NC State, Bill Self will no doubt be concerned about how his team will fare on that end of the floor this weekend.

Report: NC State received subpoena from federal probe

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NC State is now part of the federal government’s investigation into corruption into college basketball

The school was issued a grand jury subpoena for records by the Southern District of New York, a school spokesperson confirmed to the Raleigh News & Observer.

The subpoena was only for records and not to interview current staff members, according to the report.

NC State coach Kevin Keatts previously denied the school had any relation to the probe.

“Coach Keatts was not contacted about and did not know about the subpoena when he addressed the issue in February,” the school spokesperson said.

Keatts is in his first season with the Wolfpack. He replaced Mark Gottfried, who spent six years helming the program previously.

Ten people, including four sitting assistant coaches (none from NC State), were arrested last fall as part of the investigation, which alleges the funneling of money from shoe companies, financial advisors and other third-parties to players, their families and others with influence on their future professional decisions.

What exactly the nature of the documents the government requested or what NC State’s circumstances are in relation to the investigation remain unclear.

The Wolfpack lost in their first game of the ACC tournament on Wednesday and are projected by most to make the field of the NCAA tournament with their 21-11 record.

Rival fans fired up over placement of UNC national title signs

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When sports teams win championships, one of the benefits received is usually the placement of signs along major highways that honors said achievement. This is what the North Carolina Department of Transportation did in honor of North Carolina winning the national title. But according to the News & Observer some rival fans are none too pleased with the placement of two of these signs.

The two signs in question were placed on Interstate 40 in Raleigh, with one (which is visible to those driving east) being just three miles away from NC State’s home arena. For those driving westbound on I-40, there’s a visible sign at the Wake-Durham county line.

According to the News & Observer, the signs were placed at those spots in order to grab the attention of passengers deplaning at nearby Raleigh-Durham International Airport. But even with that being the case, someone had to know that the placement of the signs would not go over well with the fan base that calls Raleigh home.

In November, North Carolina’s request for eight signs to be erected across the state in acknowledgement of the men’s basketball team’s achievement was approved by the North Carolina Board of Transportation. A sign placed along I-85 also drew criticism, as some believed it to be too close to the UNC Charlotte (its sports teams are referred to simply as Charlotte) campus. That sign would ultimately be moved to a spot close to the South Carolina state line.

And given the reactions to the signs along I-40, one has to wonder if the locations of those two signs will change as well.

South Carolina State player collapses during game at NC State

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Less than seven minutes into Saturday’s game between South Carolina State and NC State, the game was delayed due to a medical emergency involving a South Carolina State player. While NC State’s Markell Johnson was being helped off the court after suffering a knee injury, a South Carolina State player reported to be senior guard Tyvoris Solomon collapsed while on the bench.

Solomon was eventually taken off the court via stretcher, with both teams heading back to their respective locker rooms. The teams were to go through a ten-minute warmup period before resuming play. At the time of the stoppage NC State led 22-5 with 13:08 remaining in the half.

Solomon, whose condition has been stabilized, has been taken to a local hospital with head coach Murray Garvin making the trip as well. Associate head coach Rio Pitt took over the coaching duties in Garvin’s absence.

NCAA declares NC State’s Beverly eligible

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The NCAA finally acceded to NC State, Braxton Beverly and public sentiment.

College basketball’s governing body reversed itself and has declared the freshman eligible to play this season, starting with the Wolfpack’s game Tuesday night against Bryant.

“Based on additional information, NCAA staff reconsidered and granted NC State’s transfer waiver request for Braxton Beverly, allowing him to compete immediately,” the NCAA announced via social media.

Whatever that new information is, it helped the NCAA arrive at a decision that nearly every single observer of the sport has called for in Beverly’s situation. His circumstances were reached via a winding road, but an ultimately relatively easy one to rule on.

Beverly committed to coach Thad Matta and Ohio State last year, and enrolled at the school early. The Buckeyes eventually moved to fire Matta, but not until June when Beverly had been already attending classes. Eventually, he decided that without Matta, Columbus was not where he wanted to be and headed to N.C. State. The NCAA originally ruled that because he had attended classes he would be treated as any other Division I transfer and subject to sitting out a year – even though he was only briefly at Ohio State and only looked to leave after Matta’s unorthodox firing in the middle of the summer.

“When (Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts) told me that my appeal had been denied earlier this week, I could tell how upset he was,” Beverly wrote on his personal blog. “I took it pretty hard. I was shocked. I think Coach was too. Some of my family might have taken it even harder, my uncle probably took it the hardest out of everybody.

“Through all of this, I am still happy with the decision to come to NC State. I think it was the best move for me to set me up to be the most successful man I can be.”

It may have taken the NCAA awhile to get to this decision – and that time cost Beverly two games to star N.C. State’s season – but ultimately, it’s hard to see how the final decision was anything but the correct one.

NC State guard Braxton Beverly hires attorney to challenge NCAA ruling

RALEIGH, NC - DECEMBER 18: Mr. Wuf, mascot of the North Carolina State Wolfpack, leads the cheers against the Stanford Cardinal during play at PNC Arena on December 18, 2012 in Raleigh, North Carolina. North Carolina State won 88-79. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
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The case of NC State freshman guard Braxton Beverly has been an interesting one to follow, as it has left many infuriated with the NCAA and the way it handles eligibility cases. Beverly enrolled at Ohio State in May under the assumption that he would be playing for the coach he committed to in Thad Matta. In June the school made a change, with Matta stepping down and Chris Holtmann taking over as head coach.

Beverly would ultimately decide to move on, transferring to NC State. The hope was that the extenuating circumstances would be considered in Beverly’s appeal to be eligible this year, but the NCAA said no on two separate occasions despite the departure of the head coach Beverly committed to playing for at Ohio State. Beverly, who did attend classes at Ohio State, has decided that he will not take this ruling lying down.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, Beverly has retained the services of attorney Scott Tompsett with the hope that he can suit up for the Wolfpack this season. NC State submitted Beverly’s case for reconsideration as a result of Tompsett being hired.

Tompsett is no stranger to taking on the NCAA, as past clients include former UConn head coach Jim Calhoun, Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez and current college basketball head coaches Randy Bennett (Saint Mary’s), Ben Howland (Mississippi State) and Rob Senderoff (Kent State).

Tompsett also represented former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino in the aftermath of the NCAA’s ruling on the stripper scandal, with Pitino being given a five-game suspension.

It should be noted that four months after the NCAA made its ruling on sanctions for the Louisville basketball program, Pitino was relieved of his duties in connection to the ongoing FBI investigation into corruption and bribes in college basketball recruiting.