Men's Basketball: Can Notre Dame make it a season sweep over North Carolina State?
► WHO: Notre Dame (15-6 overall; 8-3 ACC) vs. North Carolina State (10-13; 3-9)
► WHERE: PNC Arena (19,722), Raleigh, N.C.
► WHEN: Saturday at 3 p.m.
► TV: ACC Network.
► RADIO: WSBT (960 AM).
► ONLINE: Follow every Notre Dame game with live updates from Tribune beat writer Tom Noie at twitter.com/tnoieNDI.
► NOTING: Freshman guard Terquavion Smith scored 25 points on seven 3-pointers with six rebounds and Jericole Hellems added 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists in Wednesday’s home loss to Syracuse, 89-82. The Wolfpack scored a season-high 45 points in the first half and finished with a season high 16 3-pointers, but the Orange shot 59.3 percent from the field. Making his first career start, Wolfpack sophomore forward Jaylon Gibson scored 14 points with six rebounds. … North Carolina State has lost three straight and five of six. The win was at home over Virginia on Jan. 22, the Wolfpack’s lone home victory in ACC play. … North Carolina State is 7-6 overall at home, 1-5 in ACC play. … Notre Dame heads into the weekend in a three-way tie for second place in the ACC with Miami (Fla.) and North Carolina. The Irish own tiebreakers over both. North Carolina State is in 14th (second to last). … The Wolfpack were picked this preseason to finish ninth, one spot behind the Irish. … These teams met 11 days ago in South Bend, a 73-65 Notre Dame win. The game featured seven ties and nine lead changes. The Irish trailed by as many as five and led by as many as 10. Each team placed four players in double figures for points. Swingman Dereon Seabron (21) and Hellems (14) led the Wolfpack. Nate Laszewski (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Dane Goodwin (17 points) led the Irish, who shot 38.6 percent from the field, 39.3 percent from 3 and 75 percent from the foul line. The win snapped a four-game Irish losing streak in the series. … Notre Dame leads the overall series, 9-8, including 5-2 in games in Raleigh. The series as ACC colleagues is tied at 5. … North Carolina State is one of six repeat opponents for Notre Dame. ... Seabron ranks fourth in the league in scoring (18.2 ppg.) second in rebounding (8.9), fifth in field goal percentage (.525) and second in minutes (36.1). Laszewski is eighth in the league in rebounding (7.27). Coming off a season high 23 points in Wednesday’s win at Miami, Irish power forward Paul Atkinson, Jr., leads the ACC in field goal percentage (.604). Guard Prentiss Hubb is fifth in the league in assist/turnover ratio (2.22) for overall games, first in league games (5.63). Goodwin is 10th in minutes played (34.3). … North Carolina State ranks fifth in the league in average home attendance (11,835). … Notre Dame last won at PNC Arena on Feb. 18, 2017. … Notre Dame is 4-2 on the road in league play this season with only road games remaining against Clemson, Wake Forest and Clemson. No league team has more league road wins than Notre Dame, which has won its last two ACC road games (Louisville, Miami). … The Irish have won five of their last six road games and 11 of their last 13 overall dating back to late December. … This wraps a stretch of five of eight on the road for Notre Dame, which returns home for four of its next six beginning Wednesday against Louisville. … A win would match Notre Dame’s best ACC league record after 12 games (9-3) with the 2014-15 squad.
► QUOTING: "We're back in the mix. When we were four, five games in (with league play) I started dropping, 'Regular season champions, Regular season champions.' They're chasing it." — Notre Dame coach Mike Brey on his team being tied for second in the ACC heading into the first weekend of February.
— Tom Noie
Follow South Bend Tribune and NDInsider columnist Tom Noie on Twitter: @tnoieNDI