N.C. State coach Norm Sloan cuts down the nets after the Wolfpack defeated Marquette to win the 1974 national championship. N&O file photo
N.C. State coach Norm Sloan cuts down the nets after the Wolfpack defeated Marquette to win the 1974 national championship. N&O file photo

NC State

NC State is two wins away from something it hasn’t done since 1974

By Steve Wiseman

swiseman@heraldsun.com

February 26, 2018 03:32 PM

RALEIGH

N.C. State keeps checking off achievements this basketball season that it hasn’t accomplished in years.

The Wolfpack needs to win its next two regular-season games to finish the season with 12 conference wins – something it hasn’t done since 1974, when Norm Sloan coached the school to its first NCAA championship.

Wins over Georgia Tech on Thursday and Louisville on Saturday would give N.C. State (20-9, 10-6 ACC) a 12-6 record in the ACC.

The Wolfpack went 12-0 in both 1973 and 1974, back when the ACC regular-season schedule featured only a dozen games for each team.

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VIDEO: NC State coach Kevin Keatts talks about how the victory over FSU helps the Wolfpack get separation from other teams in the ACC standings.

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From 1975 through last season, N.C. State never won more than 11 ACC games and only reached double-digits six times: 11-5 in 2003, 11-7 in 2013, 10-4 in both 1988 and 1989, 10-6 in 2006 and 10-8 in 2015.

The Wolfpack’s 92-72 win over Florida State on Feb. 25 puts this season’s team on the double-digit win list.

Kevin Keatts’ first season as N.C. State coach is becoming known for such accomplishments.

N.C. State has also won four consecutive ACC regular-season games for the first time since 2006.

The Wolfpack has shot 50 percent or better in its last five games. That’s the longest such streak of good shooting for N.C State since February 1986.

Steve Wiseman: 919-419-6671, @stevewisemanNC