NC State building NCAA Tournament résumé
NC State’s big overtime road win against North Carolina on Saturday has not only brought the Wolfpack national attention, but strong debate on where they stand in the NCAA Tournament field.
NC State athletics director Debbie Yow has always said the standard is top 25 in the country, and first-year head coach Kevin Keatts has sped up that expectation.
The 15-7 Wolfpack received five votes in the Associated Press poll, ranking the Wolfpack tied for 36th in the country with New Mexico State. NC State’s wins over both Arizona and Duke, which were rated No. 2 in the country at the time, plus victories over ranked UNC and Clemson, could help overcome a non-conference slate with just key wins over the Wildcats and Penn State to show for it.
National basketball expert Andy Katz, who now works for the NCAA, had NC State ranked No. 16 in his power 36 poll, one spot ahead of North Carolina.
Bracketology expert Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com has NC State as one of his last four in and going to Dayton for a First Four game. The same for Joe Lunardi on ESPN.com. Sports Illustrated has NC State solidly in the top field of 64, and The Athletic listed the Pack as a No. 10 seed.
RPI has the Wolfpack outside the top 60 at No. 64 in the country.
NC State played Arizona, Tennessee and Penn State in the first year under a new coach and is getting pushback about its schedule? This is why "non-conference strength of schedule" are the four worst words ever uttered by a selection committee chair. A schedule is a schedule.— Michael DeCourcy (@tsnmike) January 29, 2018
... based on one trip through the data (I'm planning a second), the last time a team with a NC SOS of 250+ earned a double-digit at-large seed was Air Force in 2006 (No. 13 seed).— Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse) January 29, 2018
Beating ranked teams is not part of the criteria.— Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse) January 29, 2018
And the value of those victories is variable. Might not be the same on March 11 as it is now.
Poor NC SOS has consistently been used as a differentiator for teams that are close. Moral of the story: Don't let it be close. https://t.co/bMYMiAi6s9