NC State only suffered one non-conference loss to begin the season and reached as high as #15 in the rankings but now they are fighting for their spot in the Big Dance.
The Pack had a weak non-conference schedule but beat most of those opponents handily and that should play a factor when Selection Sunday arrives.
ACC play for NC State has been a roller coaster ride thus far. Keatts’ second year squad is sitting on a 5-6 ACC record. The Pack is 17-7 overall but luckily has endured the toughest stretch of the season after facing UVA, VT and UNC in 3 of consecutive 4 games. 7 games remain in the regular season as NC State prepares for Syracuse Wednesday night. The remaining games look like this:
@ #2 Duke
vs Boston College
vs Wake Forest
@ #17 Florida State
vs Georgia Tech
@ Boston College
WPN is hungry for much more than just a tournament berth. NC State was ranked #15 before dropping in the rankings the past four weeks. Now the Pack is fighting for a invite to the tourney. I believe the Pack will need to win at least FOUR out of the remaining 7 games to give themselves a good chance at dancing this March.
20 wins is usually the standard for NC State fans use for “getting in” but it’s really about which games they win, and more importantly, don’t win. 21 wins won’t mean anything if NC State drops home losses to Wake and Georgia Tech. This Pack team has the ability to win 5-6 of their remaining games and do well in the ACC tournament but they will need contribution from everyone from Markell Johnson to Wyatt Walker.
A win over #17 FSU would be huge for the Pack’s resume because it is a ranked ACC opponent on the road. An away loss to #2 Duke won’t hurt our resume while a loss to Wake or Georiga Tech at home could be detrimental to the Pack’s case. If NC State can’t upset FSU or Duke, they will need to win the other 5 games to secure a spot in my opinion. The ACC tourney also presents a opportunity to boost their resume.
Wednesday night’s game against is huge for NC State’s tournament chances as Syracuse is sitting at 8-3 in conference play.