Our basketball buddies down in Tallahassee just did exactly what we needed them to do.
Michael Snaer did his best Micheal Snaer impression and hit a game-winner with 4.4 seconds left. Neither I nor the 73 people in the Tucker Center saw a pretty basketball game tonight. However, what we did see was the arrival of an opportunity for the Wolfpack.
The Pack will now walk into the same Tucker Center on Saturday night with their destiny in their hands. While a loss may not necessarily mean that NC State will miss out on a bye, a win will guarantee that we get it. The possibility that seemed like a long shot a few short weeks ago is now very much within our grasp.
While we all would have loved to see Carolina crap the bed down the stretch, I think we may have actually stumbled into the best case scenario. We know that this Wolfpack squad has struggled with focus at times. My fear was that they would head to Tallahassee to face a Seminole squad that they beat so thoroughly in the first matchup, and have a hard time not looking past them to the Tournaments ahead. But now that seems almost impossible.
Tonight's game was not just a door to a bye, it was a wake-up call. UVA beat FSU just as thoroughly in their first matchup. That unwatchable abortion of a basketball game saw the Noles held to just 36 points. And it's not like UVA lacked motivation tonight. They needed a win more than we will on Saturday night. But the Cavaliers came out flat, showed a lack of focus through much of the game, were completely unable to execute on the offensive end, and dug themselves a hole that they could not get out of. In other words, this game serves as a step-by-step instructional video for how the Wolfpack can lose this weekend.
Let's hope our boys were watching.