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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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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Pistons, including Kelly Oubre's 4-point play

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5 must-see moments from Wizards' win over Pistons, including Kelly Oubre's 4-point play

Here are the five best plays or moments from the Washington Wizards' 122-112 win over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night...

1. The first quarter was a disaster for the Wizards, but they recovered to tie the game at halftime in large part due to Otto Porter making plays on both ends of the quarter. He ended up with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and four steals, three of which came in the first half.

Here is one of them. Porter jumped the passing lane and finished with a slam on the other end:

2. The Wizards climbed back in the second quarter thanks to a strong effort on defense. This play keyed a big run. It was a block by Tomas Satoransky that led to a Kelly Oubre, Jr. dunk:

More on Oubre in a minute.

3. John Wall went scoreless in the first half, but he was dominant in the second. He finished with 16 points and 11 assists.

This was one of his best passes, an alley-oop feed to Bradley Beal.

4. Here's more from Beal. He hit one of his signature stepback jumpers to help seal the win:

Beal ended up with 26 points on 7-for-12 from the field and 4-for-7 from three.

5. Oubre was the star of this game. He had a career-high 26 points and made big play after big play. 

On this one he completed a four-point play and did it with style. Pay attention to what Oubre does when he hits the floor after getting fouled:

Once again it wasn't easy, but the Wizards got the win and that's all that matters.

RELATED: WIZARDS RIDE HUGE 2ND HALF TO WIN IN DETROIT

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was-Cousins' value, the Redskins' top pick

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was-Cousins' value, the Redskins' top pick

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 20, 53 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 45
—NFL Draft (4/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 232

The Redskins week that was

Jags big win could spell bad news for Kirk Cousins—If the Jaguars’ accomplishment of getting to the AFC championship game does indeed make Blake Bortles’ job safe, the laws of economics say that the amount of money that Cousins can command in a free agent contract should go down. It’s the demand part of supply and demand and if demand goes down, prices should, too. But the NFL quarterback market doesn’t follow the laws. If the Lions see fit to pay Matthew Stafford, a quarterback under whom they have had very limited success, a contract with an average annual value of $27 million without any team bidding against them, that sets the price.

Setting the odds on what happens with Kirk Cousins—Despite his happy talk at the 106.7 The Fan event earlier this month, the possibility that Cousins will play in a Redskins uniform in 2018 does not warrant a large bet of imaginary casino chips. If you missed the post, take a look and let me know what you think of my assessment.

Don't freak out about latest Zach Brown tweet—It’s that time of year. A player sends out a tweet with no context and fans assign the worst possible meaning to it. In Brown’s case, a tweet about not getting respect was interpreted as a sign that contract negotiations with the Redskins were not going well. But JP Finlay found out that the tweet was about Brown being upset that another alternate getting selected to the Pro Bowl and not him. It still is unclear if Brown will return to the Redskins but at least there are no indications of rocky negotiations at this point.

Bang for the free agent bucks for the Redskins? Brown was a solid free agent acquisition for the Redskins last year. Terrelle Pryor, not so much. Take a look at the post for the other hits and misses in free agency.

Tweet of the week

Even though the draft is over three months away there are plenty of opinions out there as this tweet drew a ton of reaction. On the offensive side of the ball, the suggestions ran towards quarterbacks Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield although some want a running back. It will be interesting to see how those two non-conventional quarterbacks look after they spend the next few months under the microscope of the NFL draft process. The defensive name that kept coming up was Washington defensive lineman Vita Vea, a large specimen who could play the nose in base defense and move to three-technique in nickel.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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