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NC State hits the road to Wake Forest, as the schedule mandates

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This is March.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 26 North Carolina at NC State Photo by Nicholas Faulkner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Mercifully, the regular season concludes this week, though not before subjecting us to another 9 p.m. mid-week game. The urge to simply go to bed during these games only grows stronger as the team gets worse.

But hey! The Wolfpack does have an opportunity to put a dent into Wake Forest’s NCAA at-large hopes tonight, and that’s the best I can do in terms of locating some motivation to tune in. Well, that and I have to write about the game afterward.

In the first meeting between these teams, NC State did the thing where it was competitive for 30 minutes and then imploded completely. Wake outscored State 26-10 in the last 10 minutes to run away with a 69-51 win. Alondes Williams—the likely ACC Player of the Year—scored 17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and handed out seven assists.

Wake shot 62% inside the arc in that one, and 43% from three. NC State was superior on the glass and got a bit more out of the free throw line, but those two advantages meant little to the bottom line.

The Deacs have been the best two-point shooting ACC team in league play and the best two-point defense. That’s handy.

If State is serious about winning this game then it’s going to have to better leverage Wake’s tendency to be mistake-prone. That means creating a positive turnover margin to help give themselves a chance. First time around, State and Wake both turned the ball over 12 times.

But if the guys aren’t serious about winning and just mail this one in, well, I’m not going to blame them for that. We all want this season to be over.

KenPom likes Wake by a dozen.