The No. 25 North Carolina State Wolfpack host the Stanford Cardinal Tuesday in Raleigh, N.C., and for Johnny Dawkins' squad, the ranked opposition could be the last chance to get an impressive nonconference win on their resume.
Sure, Stanford (7-3) doesn't have any bad losses. It also doesn't have any good wins. The Cardinal had an opportunity to build an NCAA Tournament-worthy resume during the early portion of the nonconference season, but it lost to Belmont (at home), Missouri and Minnesota in the span of four games. Close losses to the Tigers and Golden Gophers, who are a combined 19-2, on a neutral court aren't going to count for much come March.
Both teams are coming into Tuesday's game on three-game winning streaks.
Outside of the North Carolina State game, the Cardinal won't have many more chances to get resume-building wins. The Pac-12 is still in a downturn, and the conference's one ranked team, Arizona, only plays against Stanford one time.
That makes the game against the Wolfpack on the road all the more important, because the schedule ahead is barren of NCAA tournament teams. Beating Northwestern on the road might be a good win, but those Wildcats aren't necessarily a great win, notes Allen.
At 7-3 on the year, Stanford didn't take advantage of games against then-No. 13 Missouri, and solid teams like Belmont and Minnesota.