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Georgia Tech 90, NC State 83: Wolfpack battles but can't overcome big deficit

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The demoralization is fully onset, at least for me. Turns out I can live in denial for a ridiculous amount of time when it comes to NC State sports. A genuinely absurd amount of time. Sure, I can jokingly acknowledge the Wolfpack's shortcomings, but if you force me to set a date to confront those shortcomings, it's gonna be like three months later or whatever and you know I might need to reschedule.

The alarms went off on first damn day of the season, when Terry Henderson got hurt and State got crushed by William & Mary. The Pack managed to keep itself together as best it could over the rest of the non-conference schedule, but league play has been a harsh douse of cold water. The kids are trying their best, but their margin is smaller than it's been in a long time, and the league is better than it's been in years. To put it another way, they are just plain not very good.

On Wednesday night, State kept level with Georgia Tech for most of the first half, crumbling late to allow the Jackets a double-digit halftime lead. We can dwell on certain micro factors costing this State team possessions and maybe some points, but there is a bottom-line starkness to the fact that the Wolfpack spent most of the game--at home--playing catch-up with Georgia Tech.

It's all a bummer. Everything is a terrible bummer, a blow to the gut that nobody needed. This team's ceiling is painfully low. All of it can be distant memory next year, but right now it burns like hell.