USA TODAY Sports
NC State picked up an important win on Tuesday night. Important because it could end up being useful for NC State come March, as Stanford could contend in a soft Pac-12 this year. Important also because Stanford's current RPI is 104, so a loss could've ended up looking bad for the Wolfpack
Now there are really only two potential speed bumps between today and State's Jan. 12 game against Duke: St. Bonaventure and Georgia Tech. Those are the only teams on the schedule in the Pomeroy top 100 (the Bonnies are No. 84, the Jackets No. 75) before the Duke game. How NC State handles this stretch will be crucial, because its RPI is going to sink win or lose; the only question is in the degree of the slide (debris slide?). Currently the Pack is 14th in the RPI (pre-Stanford win), which is a great position to be in at this point in the year.
Any slip up between now and the Duke game, though, and we're going to be sweating for a while. And although I think we will take care of business in the interim, it's tough not to be worried about how poorly this team defends, and what that's going to mean in terms of random NC State Shit happening.
NC State has yet to hold a major-conference opponent under a point per possession. It isn't unexpected given the track record of this team and its personnel, but it is discouraging. That said, we also have a team that can overcome defensive shortcomings with its offense, and damned if that isn't fun as hell at times. Tuesday being a good example.