Wolfpack Flashback: Done In By a Different Virus

Brett Friedlander

The only Madness going on this March is taking place off the court, with the NCAA tournament cancelled in response to the growing coronavirus crisis. With no actual games to report on, SI All Wolfpack is looking back in time to remember some of NC State's best postseason games from the past. On this date in 2015, the Wolfpack had another season end because of an illness ... and a seldom-used reserve from Raleigh

Five years before NC State’s 2019-20 basketball season came to an end as a result of the coronavirus, the Wolfpack fell victim to a different kind of ailment.

Along with an assist from a seldom-used Raleigh native.

It happened in the Sweet 16 against Loiusville at Syracuse’s Carrier Dome on this date, March 27, in 2015.

This time, the offending sickness was a stomach bug that left point guard Cat Barber violently ill at the team hotel the night before the game.

The sophomore, who had averaged 15 points and four assists in State’s previous NCAA tournament wins against LSU and top-seeded Villanova, “just had no zip,” in the words of coach Mark Gottfried. Barber missed all seven of his three-point attempts in the first half and went 3 of 14 from the floor for the game as the eighth-seeded Wolfpack was eliminated with a 75-65 loss to the fourth-seeded Cardinals.

It's one of only two games State has ever played on March 27. The other, last year in the NIT against Lipscomb, also brought a season to an end.

Trevor Lacey (18 points) and Ralston Turner (12 points) did their part to extend the Wolfpack's season by combining for seven three-pointers while Kyle Washington came off the bench to score 11. But it was Louisville’s Anton Gill that stole the show at the end.

Gill, who attended Raleigh’s Ravenscroft School before spending his final high school season at Hargrave Military Academy, was averging only 2.4 points per game.

But he scored seven of his team’s points during a decisive 12-3 over the final 8½ minutes, including his seventh three-pointer in 23 games that season -- to end the State’s tournament run.

"It's kind of weird," Gill said after the game. "I didn't really realize we were playing NC State, my hometown team, until someone asked me yesterday. It's funny how some things work."