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NC State checks in at No. 36 in preseason Pomeroy Ratings

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That ranking suggests the Pack is on its way back to the NCAAs.

NC State v Louisville Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

There are 12 ACC teams in the top 51 of the preseason Pomeroy Ratings, including NC State, which is ranked 36th to begin the season. Duke’s collection of NBA all-star prospects is ranked first in the ACC and first overall, not surprisingly.

ACC in the Pomeroy Ratings (projected ACC record)

1.) Duke (14-4)
5.) UNC (13-5)
7.) UVA (12-6)
9.) Louisville (12-6)
12.) Syracuse (11-7)
23.) Clemson (10-8)
24.) Miami (9-9)
36.) NC State (9-9)
39.) Virginia Tech (9-9)
40.) Florida State (8-10)
50.) Notre Dame (9-9)
51.) Pittsburgh (8-10)
76.) Wake Forest (6-12)
107.) Georgia Tech (4-14)
154.) Boston College (3-15)

There are plenty of similarities between Pomeroy’s projections and SI’s projections—both have the same top five, both have 12 teams winning at least eight league games. Sports Illustrated’s system is a little higher on the Wolfpack, projecting it to win 10 ACC games and finish sixth.

The preseason Pomeroy Ratings also come with projections for each team’s offensive and defensive efficiency. NC State’s offense is expected to improve a few slots, up from 31st last year to 28th, while the defense is expected to leap from 150th to 54th. (The Pomeroy Ratings were optimistic about State’s defense at this time least year, too.)

Some stray observations:

— My initial impression is that KenPom is too pessimistic about State’s offense, which I bet will be top 20 at least, and too optimistic about the defense, which probably won’t rate as high as 54th but shouldn’t be the dumpster fire it was last season

— State is favored to win every single one of its currently known non-conference games (two Paradise Jam opponents are TBD). Creighton, a potential opponent in that touranment, is ranked 32nd. St. Joe’s, another possible foe, is 90th. The only top-100 KenPom opponent set in stone for NC State is Illinois (70). The Pack needs that Creighton game to happen.

— Duke’s defense is expected to go from 86th in 2016 to 18th this season, which I suppose is possible, but with all those freshmen playing, I’m gonna have to see that before I believe it.

— If you like good offense, the ACC is the league for you: 12 teams are projected to have top-35 offenses. Only eight are projected to have top-35 defenses.

— Duke has the nation’s top offense, while UVA has the nation’s top defense. Don’t think those projections are going to surprise many people.

— Alert the authorities, a Brad Brownell offense is actually expected to be good. The highest Clemson has ever finished in adjusted offensive efficiency under Brownell is 45th—last year. Prior to that, no finish above 69th.

— The Clemson projection may feel a bit high, but I like it. Brownell’s done a nice job there the last few seasons, and he’s got another sure-fire NBA player to lead his team. Defense has generally not been the source of Clemson’s problems under Brownell.

— Poor ol’ Boston College has a sub-50% win probability in every single ACC game. Its best chance to end the losing streak, in the eyes of KenPom: a Jan. 31 home game against Wake Forest (43% chance of victory). More than likely the Eagles will nab a few wins this season, as the projections allude to, but whew, man, they realistically could be the underdog in all 18.