NC State started practice this week, and the college hoops season is only about a month away. It can kinda sneak up on me when the football team is not a complete abomination and thus capable of holding my attention for a long period of time.
CBS Sports' analysts published their picks for the ACC on Friday, and all are in agreement that Duke, UNC, UVA, and Louisville will make up the league's top four, with Duke getting the most first-place nods. Because of course. Duke and Carolina both have loaded freshman classes, so I don't take issue with the placement of those teams. My issue is with how this makes me want to cry. Why must I be forced to live in this basketball torture chamber. I could've been somebody. I could've been happy.
The Wolfpack is picked anywhere from sixth (Doug Gottlieb) to ninth (Jon Rothstein), and if I had to bet, I'd say sixth place is more likely. Here is the blurb on the Pack from Chip Patterson, who has State finishing seventh:
NC State sits in elite company as one of only five ACC teams to appear in each of the last three NCAA tournaments -- Duke, Louisville, North Carolina and Syracuse are the others. Each year the Wolfpack seem to play some of their best ball when the ACC tournament comes around (6-3 record in last three years) to compliment a regular season resume highlighted with a few upsets of the ACC favorites. With TJ Warren gone, can the Pack make it four straight? Sophomore Cat Barber is expected to take a big step forward and the offense should be helped with the addition of Alabama transfer Trevor Lacey. Look for freshman forward Abdul-Malik Abu, a Top 50 prospect in the 247Sports Composite, to have an impact as well.
Yes, they will make it four straight. I don't think we'll even have to sweat it this time. We do have to sweat UNC and Duke being UNC and Duke, though. Is there somewhere I can file a complaint about this? Maybe Dave Doeren knows.