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NC State opens with Pitt in the ACC tournament, and hey it’s just the entire season on the line here

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Off we go again.

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at N.C. State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

One of these days, I’m going to be able to actually relax for an ACC tournament rather than pace around endlessly for fear that if I stop I’ll throw up. Okay, perhaps that is a tad on the dramatic side, but you know what I’m sayin’.

NC State will play Pittsburgh in Greensboro on Wednesday afternoon with its season in the balance—it’s anyone’s guess just how much work the Wolfpack has left to do, but everybody agrees State can’t go losing this game and still make the NCAAs. No pressure!

Since we just saw Pitt a couple weekends ago, I don’t think a refresher on the Panthers is necessary, and anyway, my Pitt preview works as well now as it did at the time.

Whilst I’m busy biting my nails all afternoon, there are a couple of things I’d like to see NC State do better in the rematch. The first of those is defend the paint better. Pitt is still one of the worst-shooting teams in the country, but the Panthers hit almost 49% of their twos in Raleigh (season average is 45.7). We should be able to do better than that.

And this ties into the above, but State’s gotta be better on the defensive boards this time around. Pitt likes to crash the glass and the Panthers are pretty good in this area but not as good as NC State made them look 11 days ago. Allowing any opponent to grab 40+% of its missed shots is just not acceptable.

Make some improvements in these spots and NC State should be fine. I mean, who, me worry?