College Basketball

Area College Basketball Game Previews for 1.03.15

Pittsburgh (10-3, 0-0 ACC) at N.C. State (10-4, 1-0)

Noon, PNC Arena, Raleigh (WBTV)

N.C State coach Mark Gottfried apologized to the fans and challenged his players after a listless 76-60 home loss to Cincinnati on Tuesday. How will the team respond against a Pittsburgh team still finding its sea legs after losing guard Durand Johnson (academics) for the season and getting guard Cameron Wright (foot injury) back into the lineup at full speed? Joe Giglio

Boston College (7-4) at Duke (12-0)

4 p.m., Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham (FSCR)

In the last two contests against Toledo and Wofford, the Blue Devils have started strong but then relaxed and allowed their opponent and opportunity back into the game—something young teams can be prone to do, Mike Krzyzewski has said. The Eagles, part of the ACC’s (extremely) soft bottom, will present a similar challenge to Toledo and Wofford. Laura Keeley

North Carolina (10-3) at Clemson (8-4)

8:15 p.m., Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, S.C. (ESPN)

This is the ACC opener for both teams and, for the third consecutive season, UNC begins conference play on the road. The Tar Heels began conference play with a loss two years ago at Virginia, and they lost a season ago at Wake Forest. UNC has won five of its past six games against Clemson in Clemson.

Andrew Carter

High Point (9-4, 0-1) at Winthrop (6-6, 1-0)

1 p.m., Winthrop Coliseum, Rock Hill

The Eagles wrap up a three-game homestand Saturday against the Panthers in the teams’ second Big South game this season. … Winthrop enters riding a two-game winning streak, including an 82-72 victory over Longwood in its league opener Wednesday. … High Point saw its three-game winning streak snapped Wednesday with an 83-68 loss to Coastal Carolina. Bill Kiser

Gardner-Webb (9-5, 1-0 Big South) at UNC Asheville (5-7, 1-0)

2 p.m., Kimmel Arena, Asheville

Gardner-Webb looks to keep its recent momentum going Saturday in a Big South road game against UNC Asheville. … G-W has won three straight and six of its past seven games, including an 81-64 victory Wednesday over Presbyterian in its conference opener. … Asheville is also coming off a win in its league opener Wednesday, edging Radford 62-60 to snap a three-game losing streak. B.K.

Queens (6-5, 3-2 SAC) at Mars Hill (7-4, 2-3)

4 p.m., Stanford Arena, Mars Hill

The Royals return to action after a two-week break with a South Atlantic Conference road game against the Lions. … Queens closed out the 2014 portion of its schedule with a five-game winning streak, its longest since winning seven straight in 2012. … Mars Hill has lost its past two games, but last played on Dec. 31, falling to UNC Greensboro 92-48. B.K.

Richmond (7-6) at Davidson (9-2)

5 p.m., Belk Arena (NBCSN)

The Wildcats host the Spiders in their inaugural game in the Atlantic 10 on Saturday. … Davidson wrapped up its nonconference schedule with its best start in Bob McKillop’s 26 seasons as head coach, but saw its seven-game winning streak snapped with an 83-72 loss to No. 3 Virginia on Tuesday. … Richmond, picked to finish fifth in the A-10 this season, has lost its past two games after winning four straight. B.K.

Iowa State (10-1) vs. South Carolina (8-3)

6 p.m., Barclays Center, Columbia (CBSSN)

The Gamecocks close out their nonconference schedule by taking on the ninth-ranked Cyclones in Brooklyn, N.Y. … Both teams head into Saturday’s game riding long winning streaks – South Carolina has won six straight, Iowa State seven straight. … The Cyclones, ranked in the Top 25 for a school-record 26 consecutive weeks, lead the Big 12 in scoring (84.5 points per game). B.K.

Johnson C. Smith (6-6, 0-2 CIAA) at Bowie State (9-4, 1-0)

7:30 p.m., A.C. Jordan Arena, Bowie, Md.

The Golden Bulls resume their CIAA schedule Saturday with a road game against the Bulldogs. … Johnson C. Smith is coming off a 13-day break, last playing Dec. 21 in a 93-76 loss to King. … Bowie State, which won the CIAA tournament in 2013, has won its past three games, including an 84-83 victory over 2014 tourney champ Livingstone on New Year’s Day. B.K.

Appalachian State (3-6) at Arkansas State (6-4, 1-0 Sun Belt)

8 p.m., Convocation Center, Jonesboro, Ark.

The Mountaineers play their first Sun Belt conference game Saturday on the road against the Red Wolves. … Appalachian State has lost its past four games, but took Alabama to the limit in a 60-59 loss on Dec. 21. … Arkansas State has won four straight, and rallied from an 11-point deficit to beat South Alabama 63-60 in overtime in its league opener Dec. 30. B.K.