RALEIGH, N.C. --- For all of the progress N.C. State has made under first-year coach Mark Gottfried, the Wolfpack still hasn't arrived. And time is running out to compile a resume worthy of reaching its stated goal of playing in the NCAA Tournament.
There isn't any doubt N.C. State is significantly better than a year ago, well, really in the last five years under the previous regime. That it has been competitive with some terrific teams and that it competes with a purpose every night is proof, including in Saturday night's 61-60 loss at home to No. 19 Virginia.
The Wolfpack passes the eye test, but at some point it needs to register a victory that will reflect its overall progress. The NCAA selection committee doesn't use the eye test as criteria when judging teams against one another. It looks at paper, and what's on that paper determines whether or not a team gets into the big dance.
Perhaps N.C. State's best chance at registering the kind of victory that would distinguish i...