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NC State isn’t making the NCAAs this year, so now what?

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NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

I think Tuesday night finally broke me in terms of holding out any hope that this NC State team can find another level of quality and make a run at the NCAA tournament. Maybe I’m a little late here but denial is a powerful thing, y’know.

If Syracuse is the prototypical bubble squad out of the ACC this year, which seems fair—the Orange are 53 in the Pomeroy Ratings—then clearly the Wolfpack isn’t a true contender for that same status. It’s disappointing after the way the season started, but it was going to be a tough climb even with Devon Daniels. Without him, the inconsistencies at the offensive end run too deep to compensate for another unremarkable defense.

NC State’s bubble path to the tournament has always been through its offense, because the defense is routinely a liability, and this Pack team lacks the necessary firepower. The freshmen haven’t developed as quickly as it turns out State needed them to, and time is pretty much up.

So the question is what do we need to see from this team the rest of the way in order to feel some measure of satisfaction about the 2021 season and establish a little bit of optimism heading into next year?

NC State is likely to be favored in only two of its remaining seven games, so what would you like to see out of this team the rest of the way?