Sidney Lowe continued his mastery of “Basketball Grobe” tonight as the NC State Wolfpack won for the third time in the last four games. The Wolfpack is now 15-7 with an ACC record that now stands at .500 at 4-4.
NC State never trailed in route to our second consecutive win over a team ahead of us in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings. The Wolfpack hit 5-of-6 free throws in the final minute to seal the ten point win JJ Hickson delivering as needed, finishing 13-of-17 from the free-throw line. The Associated Press has their story about tonight’s game posted. ACCNow has these comments.
The win propels NC State back into a solid RPI of #40 while playing against the 31st toughest schedule in America. NC State has now defeated NINE teams currently rated in the RPI’s Top 100 as we wait and hope for Rider (currently #106) to battle back under the century ranking on their way to (hopefully winning a) conference championship.
Historically, a Top 40 RPI is particularly important for major-conference teams. In fact, over the last seven years only ten teams with RPIs of 40 or better have failed to make the NCAA Tournament — 280 teams have finished in the Top 40; 270 teams of those teams have made the NCAA Tournament.
Of those 10 misses, only three teams were from top power conferences and NONE were from the Atlantic Coast Conference (which is currently rated as the toughest conference in the country). Those teams that failed to make the Tournament were the following:
* In 2001 – #40 Mississippi State was 16-12 and 5-5 in their last 10 games
* In 2004 – #38 LSU was 18-10 and only 4-6 in their last 10 games
* In 2006 – #40 Cincinnati was 18-12 and 5-5 in their last 10 games (and were in national turmoil with the Huggins stuff)
Six teams that missed the dance with RPIs of 40 or better were: Hofstra, Missouri State (twice), Bradley and Air Force and Creighton. Hardly big names that would correlate to an ACC program.
EVERY team from a major conference who has achieved an RPI of better than #38 has been extended an NCAA Tournament bid. It may not be causation, but there certainly is some high correlation that makes it work watching.
State now owns 6th place in the conference standings and finally has an extra day off before traveling to Maryland for a huge game on Saturday night. The Terps have been playing excellent basketball on their way to an 8-2 record in their last ten games since December 28th. IMHO, a quick look at the rest of Maryland’s schedule can easily lead one ot believe that the Terps are on their way to securing an NCAA Tournament berth despite their exceptionally poor early-season performance. In light of the Wolfpack’s exceptionally tough remaining schedule, State could really benefit from picking up a win in at least one of our next two games that are both on the road – Saturday at Maryland and Thursday at Boston College.
Coach Lowe is now an impressive 4-0 against Seth Greenberg. Does one really wonder why Greenberg was such a vocal supporter of former NC State Head Coach, Herb Sendek, and took the liberty to make negative comments about NC State fans after Sendek left Raleigh in April of 2006?