Today’s game against the University of Virginia is a “must win”, something many of our readers pointed out yesterday. With the ACC standings completely jumbled except for UNC on top and Georgia Tech at the bottom, it makes it difficult to figure out who NC State fans should be pulling for to increase our chances for an NCAA bid (unlikely) and an NIT bid (more likely). We discussed our prospects for the post-season earlier this week here.
Here is how the computers rank us going into today(movement since Thursday in parentheses):
-Sagarin (+1): #71
-Kenpom (-1): #70
-RPI (0): #88
School Conf., Overall North Carolina 10-3, 24-3 Florida State 8-4, 21-6 Clemson 7-4, 21-4 Wake Forest 7-4, 20-4 Duke 7-4, 21-5 Boston College 7-6, 19-9 Virginia Tech 6-6, 16-10 Maryland 6-6, 17-9 NC State 5-7, 15-10 Miami 5-8, 16-10 Virginia 3-9, 9-14 Georgia Tech 1-11, 10-15
BC @ Miami (noon, RSN): Miami still has a top 50 RPI ranking, but almost must win out sitting at 4-8 in the conference. Pull for BC so we can finish in front of Miami in the final standings.
UVa@ NC State(1 pm, Raycom): Go Pack!
UNC@ Maryland (3 pm, ABC): It is always tough to pull for UNC, but with a loss today Maryland would drop to 16-10, 5-7. They would still be higher in the RPI, but we have chance to jump ahead of Maryland with a home game against them coming up. Pull For UNC.
FSU@ VT (8 pm, RSN): I saw BJD95 argue earlier in the week that we want VT not to tank so that we have a better shot at an NIT bid. However VT has a very difficult schedule the rest of the way(Clemson, FSU, Duke, UNC, someone else), so I say pull against the Hokies because we could possibly still finish in front of them in the conference standings (maybe even at 8-8 in a multiple team tiebreaker).
Clemson @ GT (1 pm, Raycom)
Wake @ Duke (7:30 pm, FSN)
If you want to take a deeper jump into ‘Bubbleland’ then you will really enjoy this entry at The Big Lead that looks at all the bubble teams and includes some great links to other sites. The following is ACC’s most obvious bubble team:
Miami (15-9, 4-7)
Five ACC games left, three of them are on the road. The Hurricanes haven’t won a road game since Jan. 10. Why do SI and ESPN think the Canes are a lock? As hot-and-cold as the Canes have been, a loss at FSU tonight would mean the best Miami can do in the ACC would be 8-8. Miami might need two wins in the ACC tourney to get in.
Deciding who helps us the most depends on how you look at it. Do you want more ACC teams to play their way into the NCAA Tournament so that we have less competition from the league for an NIT bid? Or do you want other teams to tailspin giving the Pack a chance at a 7th NCAA bid for the ACC with a 6-2 finish. Tough call…