After N.C. State’s loss at Duke last Saturday, N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried was ready for a break.
“We can use the time off,” Gottfried said. “I think the break will help us.”
The conference schedule has been relentless for the Wolfpack (12-12, 2-9 in the ACC). Saturday’s home game with Wake Forest (10-14, 1-11) will only be its second game against an ACC team with a losing record since the first meeting with Wake on Jan. 10.
There are 10 teams in the ACC with a .500 conference record or better and N.C. State has already played eight games against that group. Five of N.C. State’s last seven ACC games will also be against those teams.
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The Wolfpack is 0-3 against Virginia Tech (5-7), Georgia Tech (3-8) and Wake Forest (10-14, 1-11) , although only the Georgia Tech loss was at home.
So after a weeklong break comes the closest thing to a break for the Wolfpack, which has won 10 straight at home against the Demon Deacons.
Wake Forest also likely welcomes a chance to play another team in the group of five teams in the ACC with a sub-.500 conference record. The Deacs have played nine of their 12 conference games against the .500-plus group.
One problem for N.C. State, which has a 2-6 record against the top 10 ACC teams, is it hasn’t been able to capitalize on its chances against the bottom five teams.
The Wolfpack is 0-3 against Virginia Tech (5-7), Georgia Tech (3-8) and Wake Forest, although only the Georgia Tech loss was at home.
N.C. State won’t get any schedule sympathy from Wake Forest. Only Boston College (11) and Clemson (10) have played more games against the ACC’s top teams than Wake Forest (nine).
The Deacs’ biggest problem has been winning on the road. They have lost 21 straight conference road games and 50 of the past 52. Wake hasn’t won in Raleigh since 2005.
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio
N.C. State and Wake Forest have played two of the toughest schedules in the ACC. A comparison of how teams have fared against the teams in the ACC with a .500 conference record or better and teams with a sub-.500 mark:
vs. .500+ teams