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NC State is a work in progress and we’re gonna have to try to keep this in perspective

It’s bound to get painful over the next couple months, so just remember where everything started.

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis-Tennessee vs North Carolina State Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

NC State is done with its non-conference slate, and with 10 wins, State is about where we expected it would be. Yeah, that loss to UNCG is annoying, as is that 1-2 run in Atlantis, but this is the curve of a team that is unstable after a coaching change—for example, that 1-2 run in Atlantis would be a lot less annoying without an upset of Arizona.

State’s non-conference slate is finished, which means it is officially Serious Time, and also it’s officially the point where we as fans might begin to lose perspective. The schedule is difficult from here on, beginning with Clemson next weekend; Clemson is a top-25 team in the Pomeroy Ratings.

There’s a part of my brain that always assumes a win over Clemson, that assumes we should beat Clemson in basketball regardless of circumstances. It doesn’t matter that Brad Brownell has done a tremendous job, which he’s done in the finest tradition of his haircut, which is to say he’s done it very very quietly.

But I am constantly jogging my brain to NC State’s basketball reality, which is not always pleasant. For instance, NC State’s basketball team is a heavy underdog at Clemson on Saturday. Frankly, the mere notion annoys the shit out of me, but I’m not in control of the universe.

It is important to understand where State is right now, though. State has a decent team, but the ACC is really good. This is year one of the Kevin Keatts era, so everything is a freebie. No expectations exist beyond “do not be a terrible embarrassment.”

I’m going to try to remember that when I am swearing at officials next weekend.