Tonight could be the single most important game all season for the North Carolina State Wolfpack (16-6, 5-4 ACC). Tonight the Wolfpack will travel to Durham for their rematch against No. 4 Duke (19-2, 6-2 ACC).
Last month the Blue Devils were upset as the No. 1 team when North Carolina State beat them at the PNC Arena in Raleigh. Now at 5-4 in ACC conference play, the Wolfpack must turn things around tonight in improbable circumstances.
Heading into the season the Wolfpack were the clear favorites to win the ACC, but despite beating Duke and North Carolina, Miami has become the Cinderella favorite to win the conference.
A lose tonight puts State in a hole to win the ACC and to even make the tournament. Proves that tonight is a must win situation for the Wolfpack who have lost two straight since their victory over the Tar Heels.
I asked some fellow FanSider’s why tonight’s game is a must win for the Wolfpack:
NC State is on a two-game skid and needs to win if they stand a chance in the ACC. Duke is without one of their top players and NC State needs to take advantage of that even if they’re going to be without Lorenzo Brown.- Matt Welch, San Diego Bandwagon
Following their convincing win over then top ranked Duke, the Wolfpack have lost 4 of their last 6 games, but by a combined 7 points. They could easily be in 2nd in the ACC not tied for 5th. But you can only rebound so many times from those heart-breaking losses. Their resume will put them in the final field of 68, but the opportunity of a series sweep of Duke is a make or break game for the confidence of this talented Wolfpack squad. – Matt Miller, LA Sports Hub
Forget the ACC, one look at NC State’s season, and the argument can be made that they may not have the resume to get off the bubble they will be on without winning at Duke. They have 1-2 against ranked opponents, with their only win being at home against Duke. They are on a downward spiral, losing 4 of 6, including not being able to defend their home court against Miami last Saturday. They have no real convincing wins against decent teams, and got blown out by Oklahoma State at the beginning of the season. The ACC is down, and with only one signature win, and multiple losses to lesser teams, tonight is the last chance they have to impress the commitee. If they aren’t able to go into Cameron and come out with a win, they may just be filling out brackets just like the rest of us. – Barry Swindler – ATL All Day