The hype continues for NC State basketball after a nice tourney run in 2012, but Dick Vitale warns that Duke and Carolina will challenge the ACC's potential preseason favorite:
But before everybody gives the conference trophy away, watch out for traditional threats North Carolina and Duke. They will have something to say, and they will be better than people believe...
Down at Duke, Mike Krzyzewski and his squad may have something to say in the ACC race, even though Austin Rivers opted for the pros and Miles Plumlee is gone. The Blue Devils return a healthy Ryan Kelly, who was missing when the team was upset in the big dance by Lehigh...
I do take issue with one of Vitale's points- that "there are some Wolfpack fans who want to give the team the ACC trophy before the first game is played." I haven't heard any NC State fan make such a ridiculous statement, and it's the media driving these expectations, not the fans.
Otherwise, I couldn't agree more with Vitale. NC State has a great opportunity next season, but the Heels and Devils should not be overlooked. In fact, if I had to pick the order of finish, I'd still put the Wolfpack third. Perhaps I've been fooled too many times, but I need to see the Pack perform at a high level for an extended period of time- not just a few weeks in March- before I pencil in a league title.
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That said, NC State is going to be a very good team. The Pack boasts the ACC's best point guard, one of the best shooters and a potential lottery pick inside. The incoming recruits are all very talented and should provide a positive impact throughout the season. While I'm not ready to crown the Wolfpack ACC champs, they'll have as good a chance as anyone to get it done in 2012-13.