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The white-knuckle finishes will continue until morale improves

We’re lookin’ at a lot of potentially close games the rest of the way.

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

NC State thankfully closes out the regular season with three of four at home, though this hardly decreases the odds of several tight finishes the rest of the way. The Wolfpack’s final quarter of league games, which began Tuesday in Syracuse, comes against teams that are all in the general vicinity of State in the Pomeroy Ratings (and NET).

Have a look at what KenPom projects for the outcomes of these last four:

UNC: NCSU 77-74 (State win probability 60%)
Wake: NCSU 82-75 (State win probability 72%)
Clemson: NCSU 76-70 (State win probability 71%)
Duke: Duke 72-69 (State win probability 38%)

Roughly, that puts the odds of NC State going 3-0 at home at about 30%. Going 4-0 at 12%. As it stands now, that’s one Q1 game (Duke), two Q2 games (UNC, Clemson), and one Q3 game (though Wake is just one spot south of counting as a Q2 opponent).

I’d say that going 2-2 over this stretch, in whatever combination, would be fine for maintaining NC State’s NCAA position. (Having UNC as one of those wins would be preferable, of course.)

If you were looking for suspense, the schedule-makers couldn’t have drawn it up much better. Frankly, I am not looking for suspense, but it’s probably unavoidable. “All part of the fun!” I say, sweating profusely and chuckling nervously.