NC State’s extreme Jekyll-and-Hyde act was apparent again this last week, as the Wolfpack spent last Sunday at Virginia bricking up the place and spent yesterday looking more than competent after a slow start. NC State averaged 1.16 points per possession against a very good Miami defense, which under most circumstances would be good enough to win but in this case, well, that’s sports.
So the Wolfpack failed to hold serve at home for the first time, and probably not the last, and any sort of legitimate NCAA tournament run is going to require some road wins. We could have guessed this much prior to Sunday afternoon, but tangible results drive the point home. (Pun intended?)
State can and should even up the ledger at Pittsburgh on Wednesday night—for perspective, KenPom gives the Wolfpack better odds of winning that game than it had of beating Wake Forest or Miami in Raleigh. Pitt is very bad.
But the rub of course is that this game will be played away from Raleigh, which so far has been a significant sticking point for this team. No better time to halt the trend of road futility than this week, and a win there keeps the Pack in decent shape, with a 4-5 run through the first half of the schedule the worst-case scenario.
The second nine is far more opportunity-rich. It just remains to be seen whether or not this team is really capable of making that matter.