It's time for Jim Valvano and North Carolina State to readjust their goals--upward.
The 20th-ranked Wolfpack finds itself slightly ahead of Valvano's preseason projections after Sunday's 76-65 upset of No. 1 but weakened North Carolina at Raleigh, N.C.
"Before the season, we set a couple of goals--18 wins and 7 of those in the conference," Valvano said. "Today, we accomplished that." The Wolfpack is 18-9 overall and 7-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Chris Washburn led N.C. State with 26 points.
"Wash had a heck of a game," Valvano said. "I think this was the best basketball game he's played."
North Carolina, which was upset by Maryland last Thursday, dropped to 25-3, 9-3. Coach Dean Smith said it was N.C. State's leaping ability that took his team out of contention.
"We got some good shots in the first half," Smith said, "but their great athletic ability helped them to block some and we simply missed some others."
North Carolina played without injured regulars Steve Hale and Warren Martin.
"You never know about those things, maybe North Carolina State would have beat us by more if we'd had them today," Smith said.
"We're very disappointed, but we hope we can bounce back like Kentucky and Louisville did after they lost playing here on national television."
Washburn scored 16 of his points in the first half, including the Wolfpack's last 10, to help them grab a 38-27 lead at the break. He remained hot early in the second half as State's lead grew to 50-33 with 14:07 left.
The Tar Heels outscored the Wolfpack, 16-6, over the next seven minutes and climbed to 62-57 on a basket by Joe Wolf with 2:49 remaining.
"I knew they would come back," Valvano said. "I didn't know how much or when, but I knew they would come back."
North Carolina State made 10 of 12 free-throw attempts in the final 2:13 to ensure the victory.
Bennie Bolton added 18 points for the Wolfpack, and the Tar Heels got 23 points from Brad Daugherty.
Syracuse 64, Georgetown 63--Dwayne Washington made one of two free throws with 25 seconds left and the ninth-ranked Orangemen held off the No. 13 Hoyas in a Big East game at Syracuse, N.Y.
A crowd of 32,475 watched in the Carrier Dome.
The Hoyas (20-6, 9-5) trailed by as many as 18 points in the first half before crawling off the floor.
Reggie Williams scored on two offensive rebound baskets and a 23-footer in the closing minutes to help cut Syracuse's lead to 62-58.
Washington's free throw gave Syracuse (22-3, 13-1) a 64-61 lead, but Jonathon Edwards' basket brought Georgetown within one point. Rony Seikaly missed two free throws with four seconds left, giving Georgetown a chance to win, but Michael Jackson missed a 25-footer at the buzzer.
Syracuse avenged a 73-70 loss to Georgetown last month.
Washington scored 24 points, Rafael Addison added 20 and Seikaly had 10 points, 14 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. Williams scored 19 points for Georgetown.
Purdue 85, Indiana 68--Todd Mitchell scored 10 of his 24 points in the first 10 minutes at West Lafayette, Ind., and the Boilermakers knocked the No. 15 Hoosiers out of sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
The Boilermakers (21-7, 10-5), who moved to within a half-game of Indiana (18-6, 10-4) and Michigan, built a 30-15 lead with 10:19 left in the first half on three straight baskets by Mack Gadis.
Purdue made 20 of 27 shots (74.1%) in the first half, leading, 41-19, at one point and taking a 46-29 margin at the intermission.
Daryl Thomas, who scored 23 points, spurred a Hoosier comeback by scoring 13 of Indiana's 16 points in a surge that cut Purdue's lead to 68-60 with 6:47 left.
Purdue scored the next six points to pull away.
Indiana's Steve Alford, averaging 23 points per game, was held to 8 on 3 of 12 shooting from the field.
Oregon 89, Arizona State 65--Anthony Taylor scored 22 points and Jerry Adams had 21 points and 14 rebounds as the Ducks beat the Sun Devils in a Pacific 10 game at Eugene, Ore.
The Ducks (9-16, 4-11) scored the last eight points of the first half for a 36-20 lead. Steve Beck scored 21 points and Arthur Thomas added 18, but Arizona State (12-13, 6-9) never recovered.