In other news...
There were a lot of things to be happy about this weekend, none of them related to basketball.
-- In its last home match of the season, the Wolfpack men's tennis team defeated 18th-ranked Clemson today. Head coach Jon Choboy deserves recognition for bringing the tennis program back from utter suckitude. Three years ago, the team went 5-17 (1-8). This season, NC State is 20-7 (3-6), not to mention...
The Pack has now defeated a school record six ranked opponents on the season; No. 71 Old Dominion, No. 19 Kentucky, No. 31 South Carolina, No. 66 Brown, No. 70 Maryland and No. 18 Clemson.
With a little more luck (NC State has lost three ACC matches by a 4-3 margin), the Pack would be near the top of the conference standings. The important thing, especially considering where we were a few years ago, is that State has reached a point where it can play with the conference's best (one of State's narrow 4-3 losses came against a Duke team that was ranked 4th in the nation at the time). Tennis finished last season ranked 46th and has spent the majority of this season in the top 40. State is a good bet to make the NCAAs for the first time since the late 90s.
-- Baseball beat Wake Forest 17-2 this afternoon and won the weekend series, 2-1. NC State is hitting .353/.447/.507 this year, which is up from 2005's .311/.405/.441 line. It's a good thing the guys are hitting, too, because the pitching staff is mediocre (again). Brackman has struggled, and the team really needs him. His K/9IP remains good, but his H/9IP has doubled. He is also walking nearly 6 batters per 9IP.
Eryk McConnell has been the bright spot of the starting rotation. He leads the starters in IP and ERA by wide margins and sports an excellent 4:1 K:BB ratio. Sunday's win was Eryk's handiwork.
Despite slugging .306 this year, shortstop Jonathan Diaz has managed 22 walks in 36 games. Seeing as how there's no reason to pitch around someone with so little power, that doesn't speak too well for NC State's opponents. Diaz's OBP (.404) is nearly 100 points higher than his SLG, which just looks weird.
-- NC State softball moved into second place in the ACC after splitting a double header with Georgia Tech on Sunday. This team doesn't even have a softball field of its own yet.