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N.C. State vs. Miami preview: Shane Larkin leads Hurricanes against improving Wolfpack

Miami's Shane Larkin scored 15 second-half points in the Hurricanes' quarterfinal win over Boston College. Miami is going up against an improving Wolfpack team in the first of two ACC semifinal games in Greensboro, N.C., Saturday.

Kevin C. Cox

No. 1 seed Miami tips off against No. 5 seed N.C. State at 1 p.m. ET Saturday in Greensboro, N.C. The Hurricanes are ranked ninth nationally, and while both of these teams will make the NCAA Tournament, Miami has never played in an ACC Championship game. The Wolfpack were last there in 2007.

Miami has cooled off a bit from an impressive start to the season and needed a huge second half effort to knock off No. 8 seed Boston College, 69-58, Friday in the quarterfinals.

Miami sophomore guard Shane Larkin scored 15 points in the second half -- and 20 overall -- helping the Hurricanes overcome a 27-25 halftime deficit. If the Hurricanes are to advance, they will need his all-around offensive game to stay at its peak level, and not the mini-slump he went through at the end of the regular season.

N.C. State is cruising late in the season, having just crushed No. 4-seed Virginia, 75-56. They were 8-for-16 from three-point range, including 7-of-12 from forward Scott Wood.

The winner will take on the winner of North Carolina versus Maryland, which tentatively tips off at 3 p.m. Saturday in Greensboro.

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