RALEIGH, N.C. -- Welcome back to the national spotlight, NC State.
The 20th-ranked Wolfpack on Saturday reminded everyone why they began the season in the top 10, and were picked in the preseason to win the ACC, by handing top-ranked Duke its first loss of the season, at PNC Arena.
The 84-76 final had the NC State crowd rushing the court after the Pack's 10th straight victory.
Turning point: NC State was trailing 27-19 with about eight minutes left in the first half when senior Scott Wood made a 3-pointer and was fouled by Duke guard Tyler Thornton. Wood appeared to offer up a little trash talk; Thornton countered with an elbow, and an official whistled each for a technical. With a re-revved crowd also re-revving the Wolfpack, Wood hit the free throw to complete the four-point play and jump-start a 15-4 run that gave State a 33-29 lead. The Wolfpack led 41-39 at halftime.
Over its previous six games, Duke had opened the second half with big runs. But this time, it was State that came out the aggressor, using an 8-2 run (including six points from Richard Howell) to build an eight-point lead. The Blue Devils, as you would expect, cut it back, getting to within 58-57 on back-to-back Seth Curry 3-pointers with about 10 minutes left. Curry hit another 3, with 3:41 left, to cut State’s advantage to 71-67. But Duke got no closer.
Key player(s): C.J. Leslie led the Wolfpack with 25 points, and Howell added 16 points and 18 rebounds, tied for the most in a win over No. 1 over the last 15 years, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Lorenzo Brown's 13 assists were also tied for the most during that span.
Noteworthy numbers: NC State is 6-26 all time against the AP No. 1-ranked team, including 2-9 against Duke. ... Duke is the second No. 1 team to lose this season (Indiana lost vs. Butler) ... This is Duke's 32nd loss as a No. 1 team, most all time. ... NC State is 3-0 in the ACC for the first time since 1988-89, which is also the last time it had a win streak this long (10 games.
Etc.: Duke senior Ryan Kelly, out indefinitely after reinjuring his right foot Tuesday night, sat on the visitors bench in a protective boot; junior Josh Hairston made his third career start in his place. Curry, who had been playing with a right shin injury, left the game with 3:15 left after crumpling to the court with what appeared to be a left leg injury.
Next up: Duke will play Georgia Tech at 9 p.m. ET on Thursday. NC State will play at Maryland at 7 p.m. Wednesday.