NOTEBOOK: Opportunity Lost

BOSTON – NC State's five-game winning streak came to an end here Tuesday night, leaving the Wolfpack at 11-5 for the season, 1-1 in the ACC.

There are certainly two ways to look at the record.

On one hand, it's nice for a young team to already have 11 victories in the back with so much of the season still to play.

But on the other hand, there's the record against good teams.

The Pack is 0-5 against teams in the top 50 of the RPI ranking.

Only one of those losses, to No. 40 Boston College, came with Tracy Smith on the floor, and there's something to be said for that. He wasn't there for the losses to Georgetown, Wisconsin, Syracuse and Arizona and it was clear again Tuesday night what he means to this team.

But he was there, and the Pack lost, anyway, to a BC team that has lost to Yale and Harvard.

Clearly, these guys have to learn what it takes to win these kinds of games, especially on the road. Four of the five losses have come away from Raleigh.

Tuesday night's game was played with a forecast of a blizzard making its way up the east coast. Snow was supposed to start falling in the area right around midnight, which was about the time the NC State charter was going to take off from a local field.

The crowd, announced at 3,652, wasn't really that bad considering the forecast, the 9:00 start time and the students still being on break. The place got loud when the game was on the line.

One of the changes for BC with the coaching change from Al Skinner to Steve Donahue was the returning players being given freedom to shoot the ball, from anywhere. Case in point is senior guard Biko Paris, who hit a couple of huge 3-pointers to send State home unhappy Tuesday night.

The three treys made by Paris in this game gave him 37 for the season. He had a TOTAL of 36 his first three years, hitting only 10 last year. And remember, this season is only 17 games old.

On the three straight treys the Eagles hit to take control Tuesday night, Donahue said, "I think all three of them were called. All three of them were sets we put in the last week or so for when we get into league play."

Reggie Jackson made three of the nine BC treys in the game and blitzed the Wolfpack for 29 points (one off his career high), six assists, five rebounds, three blocks and a steal in 36 minutes. "That guy's a first-round draft pick. He's good," said Sidney Lowe.

BC is 3-0 in the ACC, marking the fourth straight year Donahue teams have opened conference play with three straight wins. It happens the last three years at Cornell…NC State fell to 3-8 all-time against BC, 3-5 since the Eagles joined the ACC…BC turned the ball over only eight times…Lorenzo Brown had seven points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal before fouling out…Ryan Harrow was 5-for-9 from the floor and had 11 points and two assists in 21 minutes.

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