PNC Arena was completely packed Tuesday night. It was a red out and that made the few UNC fans there really stand out. A “Kevin Keatts is a winner” banner was stretched out across the student section. State fans were as confident as they’ve been in years.
State never led and dropped the highly anticipated game 90-82. It’s always a huge letdown when we lose to UNC but for some reason this loss felt different. The loss was only the second of the season and this team fought hard the entire game. When the “TAR-HEEL” predictably broke out towards the end of the game, it was immediately followed by a “WOLF-PACK” chant.
Sure, we could have done things differently. It was mostly just one of those nights were we couldn’t find chemistry and the others guys were hitting everything. Roy Williams has owned NC State the past decade and the bitter taste of the Tarholes winning in Raleigh always lingers for a while. But this isn’t the past. Keatts said it best:
“We won’t be defined by one game.”
And that’s what was pushed leading up to this game. From Keatts to the players, they all called this just another game. As NC State continues ACC play, there’s no cause for panic. The next 5 opponents are all unranked. Following those game the Pack will have 3 highly ranked ACC battles. Good timing for sure. Keatts will be able to work on this team leading up to the tougher games.
The more time Keatts gets with this team, the better they will be. This should bode well with having the rematch with UNC 2 months down the road.
Next five games:
-vs Pitt (10-4)
-vs Wake Forest (7-7)
-@ Notre Dame (10-5)
-@ Louisville (10-4)
-vs Clemson (10-4)
Following three games:
-vs #4 Virginia (13-0)
-vs #9 Virginia Tech (13-1)
-@ #12 UNC (12-3)