The North Carolina State Wolfpack are rather perplexing. Not only did they start off hot, they started 11-2 in their non-conference schedule against pretty good teams. The Wolfpack didn’t line up a ton of cupcakes, there were a few, and they came away with victories against multiple teams that will be dancing in March. Unfortunately for North Carolina State, ACC play began and flaws started to show.
Now while the ACC is a very tough conference to navigate, it doesn’t mean you are allowed to fall apart while trying to make the NCAA Tournament. Currently 6-5 in ACC play, the Wolfpack have lost to teams that nobody in the country should be ashamed of losing to. However, they’ve also beat them, making one wonder how good is North Carolina State.
First, let’s start with this, the Wolfpack are a very, very good team. But like a lot of other teams in the nation, they are lacking depth and consistency on the offensive end. Another big issue is their defense, where they currently rank as the 157th most efficient team in the land. Meaning, they aren’t really all that good at playing defense.
Although I am not as down on them as some other people. Come tourney time, a player like C.J. Leslie can win you a game. Seeding is going to be the key for the Wolfpack as they need the right match-ups in order to make a significant run. Smaller teams who have a hard time scoring would be a perfect fit for the Wofpack. Not that many of the teams who make the tourney are going to be bad, but some are going to make it with their own flaws, hopefully ones that make NC State’s not an issue.
I actually think the ACC tournament will be a good way to gauge what kind of success we can expect from NC State in the NCAA tournament. While they might lack a ton of depth, be slightly inconsistent offensively and play pretty bad defense, there is something about the Wolfpack that just looks right.
Maybe it is Leslie, or that at times their offense looks unstoppable, but I can’t put my finger on it. Regardless, the talent is there, and if the seeding gods decide to give them a slew of favorable match-ups, a Sweet Sixteen run is not out of the question.
Flaws are fine when you have the talent the Wolfpack have. And man, do they have it.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports who primarily covers the Catholic Seven. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone