N.C. State vs. Xavier, NCAA Tournament First Four recap: T.J. Warren leads Wolfpack to 74-59 win

Gregory Shamus

Warren dropped 25 points to advance North Carolina State into the second round. The Wolfpack will face St. Louis on Thursday.

SB Nation 2014 NCAA March Madness Coverage

T.J. Warren and the North Carolina State Wolfpack proved they belonged in the field of 68 on Tuesday night with a convincing first round win over Xavier, 74-59.

Warren, just as he has done to opposing defenses all season long, lit up the Musketeers for 25 points. He picked up two fouls in the first five minutes, but coach Mark Gottfried elected to keep him on the floor. It would end up paying dividends for the Wolfpack in a big way as they took a six-point lead into halftime and outscored the Musketeers by nine in the second half.

Ralston Turner chipped in with 17 points for the Wolfpack, while Jordan Vandenberg had nine points and four rebounds.

Xavier was just unable to get anything to fall against the Wolfpack defense, which has been vulnerable all season long. The Musketeers shot just 2-of-14 from behind the three-point arc and shot just 42 percent overall from the field. XU also turned the ball over 13 times and only dished out seven assists. Big man Matt Stainbrook played really well and finished the night with 19 points and nine boards, but he didn't get much help.

These two plays late in the second half kind of summed up the night for Chris Mack's boys.

Blockboard

Ncstateblock

The win moves North Carolina State into the second round. The Wolfpack will face Midwest Region No. 5 seed Saint Louis on Thursday; the Billikens have lost four of their last five games. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:20 p.m. ET.

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