NC State’s 4th straight game on ESPN-Unavailable could mark an impressive milestone. If the Wolfpack wins tonight (the Spartans are 6-6 and rated in the 180s according to Sagarin), it will have navigated the 2006-07 basketball schedule without a single embarrasing loss, at least based on the caliber of opponent. Reviewing the Pack’s current non-conference losses, only Cincinnati qualifies as a bad opponent, and that loss can’t be considered programatically “embarrassing” because Cincy is the same kind of team we are (rebuilding program in a power conference).
What makes this most notable is that NC State has relied on a maximum rotation of just seven players, one of which is a former walk-on who was only honorable mention all-conference as a senior in high school (hat tip to my recent hard copy of The Wolfpacker, which I read over the holiday weekend). In fact, Engin Atsur and Trevor Ferguson have yet to suit up for the same game yet.
This feels good for those of us old enough to remember the infamous Tampa game or occassional trips to the west coast that saw even Jimmy V’s good teams stumble to at least one lightly regarded foe most years. It is definitely something which this group of players could be justifiably proud.
Admittedly, this more of a “baby step” kind of accomplishment; but taking the first step can create momentum for future ones. And I hope I haven’t invoked a hex on our beloved Iron Seven.
Click here for a little more on tonight’s game with UNC-G.