Facebook Twitter Google+ How Syracuse beats N.C. State: By not focusing too much on Barber. Yes, N.C. State is extremely reliant on the junior point guard, but the Orange could get burned if it overextends in his direction. If the top of the zone is keying on Barber too much, Rowan and twins Caleb and Cody Martin are all capable of beating SU from deep. It also could open up the corners, a spot the Wolfpack has favored against the Syracuse zone in recent seasons. It could also create a rebounding issue if guards and wings aren’t back to help out, because Abu and N.C. State center Beejay Anya have made the Wolfpack the 16th-best offensive rebounding team in the country (based on Kenpom’s offensive rebounding percentage). As always, the Orange will have to shoot well to win. But N.C. State’s only way to win is by lighting up the scoreboard, and letting players aside from Barber get open and heat up is an easy way to let it do just that.Statistic to know: Teams are shooting 37.2 percent from 3 against the Wolfpack this season, ranking it 303rd among 351 Division I teams in perimeter defense. If there was ever a game for Syracuse to snap out of a team-wide shooting slump, it’s this one.Player to watch: Rowan is the player most likely to benefit from the two other things the Orange zone has to worry about: Barber and controlling Abu and Anya on the offensive glass. He’s shooting an average 33.2 percent from 3 this season, but has scored 20 points in two of N.C. State’s last four games. He also scored three and eight points, respectively, in the other two contests, and has proven time and again this season that he is prone to get very cold. The opportunities will be there against SU, and how many he cashes in on will have a big influence on the game. Comments Frankie Prijatel | Staff Photographer Published on February 25, 2016 at 9:46 pm Contact Jesse: firstname.lastname@example.org | @dougherty_jesse North Carolina State visits Syracuse for a 2 p.m. game on Saturday, nearly one year after the Orange’s season ended unceremoniously at PNC Arena in Raleigh.This time around, the Wolfpack (14-14, 4-11 Atlantic Coast) is all but eliminated from NCAA Tournament contention while Syracuse (18-10, 8-7) needs a win to preserve a reeling postseason resume. To heighten the “drama” of the game, it will feature the ACC’s best scorer in Anthony “Cat” Barber (23.1 points per game) and its fifth-best scorer in Michael Gbinije (17 points per game).Here’s what you need to know about N.C. State heading into the matchup.All-time series: 5-3 in favor of Syracuse.Last time they played: On March 7, 2015, the Orange had self-imposed a postseason ban a month earlier and had one more game left in a forgettable season. N.C. State — which would later upset top-seeded Villanova in the NCAA Tournament to reach the Sweet 16 located in Syracuse — beat the Orange 71-57. Trevor Lacey and Ralston Turner, neither of whom are on this year’s team, each scored 19 points to lead the Wolfpack. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe N.C. State report: It’s been a really weird season for N.C. State. The Wolfpack started 0-5 in ACC play and haven’t really recovered from that, but its four conference wins are all rather impressive. The first was a 17-point road win over Pittsburgh, then a 16-point home win over then-No. 15 Miami, then a 99-88 slugfest win over Wake Forest and, lastly, a three-point win over Clemson on Feb. 20. What this shows is that N.C. State can show up and compete on any given night, and has an offense capable of shouldering a defense that yields 73.2 points per game and ranks 13th out of 15 ACC teams. After Barber, freshman shooter Maverick Rowan is the team’s next highest scorer with 12.8 points per game. Abdul-Malik Abu is the Wolfpack’s inside presence, averaging 12.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game — and his 13.6 offensive rebounding percentage ranks fourth in the conference, according to Kenpom.com. Those three have been the most consistent players in what has been a tight seven-man rotation.