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BYU Will Be Short-Handed Against NC State For Vegas Showdown Title

Nov 24, 2023, 12:21 PM | Updated: Nov 26, 2023, 7:39 pm

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball will look to remain unbeaten on the season as they take on NC State tonight in the championship game of the 2023 Vegas Showdown.

The Cougars enter the game at 5-0, soaring up the KenPom ratings at No. 12.

Tonight will be the fifth meeting all-time between BYU and NC State. The two programs last met in 2004 at the Marriott Center, a game where former Wolfpack great Julius Hodge scored 22 points.

BYU is 0-4 all-time against NC State.

BYU vs. NC State: How To Watch, Listen

Location: Michelob ULTRA Arena

City: Las Vegas, Nevada

Tip-Off: 8 p.m. (MT)/7 p.m. (PT)

TV: ESPN2

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM)

What you need to know about BYU basketball

BYU basketball will be without Atiki Ally Atiki tonight against the Wolfpack. That’s a byproduct of Atiki throwing a punch late in last night’s win over Arizona State.

Atiki is a reserve center for BYU this season.

The good news for BYU is that Noah Waterman is available to play this evening. Waterman scored a career-high 24 points last night against the Sun Devils. But near the end of the game, he stepped onto the floor moments after Atiki threw the punch.

That led to Waterman being ejected last night. He won’t miss tonight’s game.

Waterman is leading BYU in rebounds at 7.0 per game.

A win tonight for BYU would be their first championship in an MTE (Multi-Team Event) since 2010, when they had Jimmer Fredette in their starting backcourt. BYU defeated South Florida and Saint Mary’s in the South Padre Invitational.

BYU enters tonight’s matchup with NC State as the nation’s number one three-point shooting team. Through five games, BYU has knocked down 12.8 threes per contest. They have also attempted 33 threes, which is also number one nationally.

BYU has also been locking teams up on the defensive end.

Mark Pope’s squad is No. 10 in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency defensive ratings. BYU has held their opponents to 50 points or less in the last three games. Last night against Arizona State, the Sun Devils shot 10% from three.

Get to know the NC State Wolfpack

Four players scored double-figures in NC State’s win over Vanderbilt on Thursday night. One of those four players was true freshman Dennis Parker Jr.

Parker scored a career-high 18 points off the bench. The 6-foot-6 former four-star recruit gave a much-needed lift to the Wolfpack over a Commodores team without its leading scorer.

Like BYU, NC State comes into the game with an unbeaten record. Tonight’s game will be NC State’s first game against a Top-100 team in the KenPom ratings.

Butler transfer Jayden Taylor and former Winthrop transfer DJ Burns Jr. lead the Wolfpack in scoring at 14.3 points per game.

Head coach Kevin Keatts leads NC State is in his seventh year on the Wolfpack bench.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Will Be Short-Handed Against NC State For Vegas Showdown Title