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NC State men’s basketball ACC schedule revealed

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NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC men’s basketball schedule is out, and NC State will begin league play at home against Louisville on Dec. 4. It’s a pivotal season for Kevin Keatts, so a good start would be ideal—it just won’t be easy.

The Wolfpack’s full ACC slate:

Dec. 4 — vs. Louisville
Dec. 28 — at Miami
Jan. 1 — vs. Florida State
Jan. 4 — at Virginia Tech
Jan. 8 — vs. Clemson
Jan. 12 — at Louisville
Jan. 15 — at Duke
Jan. 19 — vs. Virginia Tech
Jan. 22 — vs. Virginia
Jan. 26 — at Notre Dame

Jan. 29 — at UNC
Feb. 2 — vs. Syracuse
Feb. 5 — vs. Notre Dame
Feb. 9 — vs. Wake Forest
Feb. 12 — at Pittsburgh
Feb. 15 — at Georgia Tech
Feb. 23 — vs. Boston College
Feb. 26 — vs. UNC
March 2 — at Wake Forest
March 5 — at Florida State

NC State definitely can start 2-0 and maybe needs to given what follows in the first half. There are plenty of challenging road trips in January, including a visit to Duke, plus visits to Raleigh from Florida State and Virginia. There’s the potential for things to turn south on the Pack—only two of the first 10 games are against teams that finished below State in the Pomeroy Ratings last season.

Fortunately, the second half of the schedule is much more forgiving. There are two games against Wake Forest, plus games against Notre Dame, Pitt, and Boston College. Outside of the trip to FSU and the road game against UNC, there’s nothing truly scary here.

So there’s an opportunity for NC State to dig itself out of an early hole, but if it were me, I would simply avoid falling into that January hole to begin with.