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NC State checks in at No. 79 in Sports Illustrated’s preseason college basketball rankings

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They’re a bit more optimistic than KenPom.

NCAA Basketball: ACC Media Day Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Illustrated’s projection system is a little more optimistic about NC State this preseason than are the Pomeroy Ratings. SI has NC State at No. 79 to begin the season, 30 spots ahead of where they landed in the Pomeroy Ratings.

SI is more optimistic about State both offensively and defensively: they have State’s offense at No. 55 (vs. No. 89 in KenPom) and its defense at No. 116 (vs. No. 149). That’s not surprising given that earlier this offseason SI’s projections had NC State winning seven conference games, while the Pomeroy Ratings are only expecting four wins.

Both systems are excellent but obviously require information to be refined, and as the season has yet to start, there is a lot more guesswork involved. Previous performance, returning minutes, and recent recruiting history inform quite a bit, typically, but that leaves plenty of holes that need filling in the way of actual on-court performance results.

This is reflected in some big discrepancies between the systems just within the ACC. Both love Duke, but SI has Miami at No. 12, while KP has the ‘Canes 27th. KP still loves UVA (No. 9), while SI has what I think is a more realistic projection (30th). SI also projects four ACC teams to be better than UNC, which is 18th, while KP only picks two ACC squads to be better than the Heels. (One being UVA, which ... nah, man.)