I don’t have the time to offer much analysis in this entry (that is best left to Vawolf82), but with five games left in the season now is a good time to see where NC State stands in the various computer rankings and how that projects for post-season play. There are four post-season tournaments now:
-NCAA Tournament (65 teams)
-NIT (32 teams)
-College Basketball Invitational (16 teams)
-College Insider.com tournament (16 teams)
Prior to last year, any major conference team with a .500 record was almost guaranteed to make the NIT. However, the NIT changed their selection process to be more similar to the NCAA tournament selection process. Any team that wins their conference regular season and doesn’t make the NCAA is guaranteed a spot in the NIT field. For the remaining at-large spots, they use the various computer rankings, strength of schedule, etc…and award bids based on which teams are the most deserving. Considering the coaches are trying to land as many as two more 2009 recruits that are immediate impact players, then winning does nothing but improve our chances even if that means making a run in a tournament no NC State fan enjoys discussing.
Last week was the first time we appeared in this NIT field projection as a #8 seed. They have us matched up against #1 seed on the road at South Carolina. A #8 seed creates a rather daunting task of needing three wins on the road to advance to the semi-finals held in NYC.
Current computer rankings:
Obviously, our chances of making the NCAA tournament are slim at best. It probably takes a 4-1 finish plus two wins in the ACC tournament to give us a good chance (20-12, 10-9 against the ACC with wins over WF in the regular season and likely UNC, Duke or Wake in the Friday ACC game). A 3-2 record and two wins likely puts us on the bubble as does 4-1 and a single win in the ACC Tournament. Just think how getting a single win over over Davidson, Florida, or Marquette and the win over Virginia Tech would have changed our NCAA outlook?
Regardless, winning 4 or 5 games the rest of the way is crucial to position ourselves in the NIT field with a good chance of advancing to NYC. A strong finish and a couple of wins in the NIT would make this season a success in my opinion.