Harris lead Virginia past No. 19 Wolfpack, 58-55

Harris lead Virginia past No. 19 Wolfpack, 58-55

Mark Gottfried acknowledged that North Carolina State's latest victory was a considerable step in his program's resurgence. To take another big stride, Gottfried's team will likely need to start winning consistently away from home.

In their next attempt to improve on the road, the 19th-ranked Wolfpack, the ACC's top scoring team, will try to get past the league's stingiest one, Virginia, on Tuesday night.

North Carolina State owns two NCAA titles and a combined 17 ACC regular-season and tournament championships. The Wolfpack, though, haven't won the league tournament since 1987 and last finished atop the conference standings in 1988-89.

Until Gottfried arrived last season, the program experienced a number of lackluster finishes in recent seasons, but the new coach got its fortunes heading quickly in the right direction by ending a six-year NCAA tournament drought last year.

NC State appeared to gain another meaningful bit of progress Saturday by ending a 13-game skid to rival North Carolina. Lorenzo Brown had 20 points and 11 assists in that 91-83 win, and freshman T.J. Warren contributed 19 points off the bench.

"It's a significant win for us," Gottfried said. "To get where you want to be as a program, you have to take certain steps to get there. This was a big one for us."

The Wolfpack (16-4, 5-2), who are undefeated at home, are also trying to get back on top of the conference but trail Miami by 1 1/2 games. Their two losses have come in each of their last two league road contests, and they might have a challenge in their next visit in trying to overcome a clash of styles.

Virginia's attempt to slow opponents down has worked well so far, evident by the 51.1 points per game its allowed on 36.8 percent shooting. The Cavaliers (14-5, 4-2) have held two of their past seven opponents under 40 points, including a 56-36 home win over Florida State on Jan. 19.

"They're very good at what they do, and we feel that we're pretty good at what we do too. We really like to get out and run," Gottfried said.

The Cavaliers have used their defense to overcome the league's least prolific offense (62.8 ppg). The Wolfpack, meanwhile, are averaging a league-best 79.8 points on 50.9 percent shooting but rank 11th in points allowed per game at 70.2.

"They've got experience. They know how to score," Virginia junior forward and North Carolina native Akil Mitchell told the school's website. "We've got to tighten down and be ready for a good one Tuesday. I'm excited about the competition."

The Cavaliers won their third straight and 11th in a row at home Saturday, 65-51 over Boston College, by limiting the Eagles to 36.2 percent shooting. Virginia converted at a 56.3 percent clip at its end, but Mitchell and Justin Anderson were the only two players in double figures with 16 points apiece.

Leading scorer Joe Harris (14.8 ppg) was held to seven points, ending a string of eight consecutive games in double figures.

Harris is one of the top 3-point shooters in the ACC at 46.7 percent but was 1 of 4 on Saturday. He's 8 for 16 from beyond the arc in three games against NC State and has averaged 16.3 points.

NC State snapped a four-game skid to Virginia with a 67-64 win in last season's conference tournament. The Wolfpack shot 54.0 percent in that game after being held under 41.0 in each matchup during the skid, and C.J. Leslie led the way with 19 points and 14 rebounds.

They've averaged 56.8 points on 40.4 percent shooting in four consecutive losses at Virginia.

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John Wall has message for fans after agreeing to four-year extension with Wizards

John Wall has message for fans after agreeing to four-year extension with Wizards

On the first night of NBA free agency, the Wizards offered John Wall the designated player extension or better known as the supermax. It took a few weeks, but Wall agreed to sign the extension with the Wizards.

Now, he's released a message for the fans shortly after agreeing.

A formal announcement from the Wizards is expected on Saturday, but Wall took to Twitter to let everyone know.

"You know I wasn't going nowhere." Wall said, "I love being in D.C."

Wall, who has repeatedly said he wished to remain in Washington to bring a championship to the city, reiterated that once again.

"You all know what I'm going for. Definitely going to bring you all that championship." Wall added, "You know that's my ultimate goal."

RELATED: WALL AGREES TO FOUR-YEAR SUPERMAX EXTENSION

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John Wall agrees to four-year extension with Wizards

John Wall agrees to four-year extension with Wizards

The Washington Wizards' long-term future is now a lot clearer, as superstar point guard John Wall agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $170 million. David Aldridge first reported the news.

Wall, 26, re-ups with the Wizards through the 2022-23 season. By the time it expires he will be 32 years old, meaning the Wizards have locked him up for the majority if not all of his prime.

Wall was able to earn the dollar amount he did in part because of his selection to third team All-NBA for the 2016-17 season. Under the recently installed collective bargaining agreement, honors like All-NBA and Defensive Player of the Year allow players to earn more money on contract extensions.

The Wizards drafted Wall first overall in 2010 out of the University of Kentucky. In his seven NBA seasons since, Wall has blossomed into one of the NBA's best players with career averages of 18.8 points, 9.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. He has been an All-Star in each of the past four seasons and is a one-time All-Defensive team selection.

[RELATED: John Wall to get huge honor from University of Kentucky]

By signing Wall to four more years, the Wizards have locked up their three core players, including Bradley Beal and Otto Porter, through the 2019-20 season. Like Beal and Wall, Porter is under contract through the following season, but he could choose to leave in free agency through a player option. Porter signed his new contract on July 13, a four-year max deal worth $106.5 million.

Wall had the best season of his career in 2016-17, averaging 23.1 poitns, 10.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game. He was a driving force behind the Wizards' best season as a franchise since the 1970s. Not since 1979 had they won 49 games, their division or reached the seventh game of the second round of the playoffs.

Now with Wall, Beal and Porter locked up for the foreseeable future, the Wizards can continue to build on an era that has already seen three appearances in the postseason's second round. It all began with Wall getting drafted in 2010 and now it is ensured he will get to finish what he and the Wizards have started.

[RELATED: Who is the best player in Wizards/Bullets history?]