Perpetually Disappearing Pie

(Note: To activate tables and graphs, you will need to click on the title of this entry or the “More StatefansNation” URL at the bottom of this entry. Based on the configuration of your computer and your monitor, you may see large gaps created by the tables embedded in the entry and will simply need to scroll farther down the page).

Good morning, sleepy head!!!

Did you sleep well? Heck, did you sleep at all? Regardless of if you tossed and turned all night, you have awoken to a New World Order!!! Sounds kind of ominous, doesn’t it? No matter, it is true —

You now live in an environment and under a set of circumstances that have LITERALLY NEVER existed as they do today — April 5, 2005.

For many, this N.W.O. is nothing that you haven’t felt inside or intuitively known since…oh….about 1995 or so. But, having ‘felt’ it for a decade still may not compensate or serve to ease many Wolfpackers pain this morning. You went to bed last night without letting all of the ramifications of your arch-rival’s newly minted National Championship sink into your system, and you have woken this morning to a landscape that has never existed in the history of NC State’s Basketball program. (Don’t let Lee Fowler tell you that he and Herb Sendek aren’t setting records at NC State!!!!) —

As of THIS MORNING, NC State is further behind UNC-CH in National Basketball Titles (and ACC Titles) than we have been at any point in the entire history of college basketball. Additionally, there has never been a day on this earth where BOTH Carolina and Duke held this lead in ACC and National Championships over NC State.

Think about that for a moment…especially you jackasses that constantly degrade our tradition because you can’t grasp its magnitude…and you Fowlerites and Kennellites who openly proclaim that NC State athletics should not strive to contend for Championships or measure to the standards of Carolina and Duke. (I wish that someone would have told us this was NC State’s “not goal” [since we don’t have any goals or measurements] BEFORE we were solicited to pony-up tens of thousands of dollars just to sit in dead arena and watch the college version of the Washington Generals go out and tackle one of the nations worst non-conference schedules on an annual basis.)

Some moron somewhere is going to think that I am “bashing” Herb Sendek…and, their inability to understand my point does not surprise me in the slightest. The point is NOT that Herb Sendek is not delivering results and cannot consistently compete with names like Coach K, Roy Williams, Gary Williams and others on a national stage. The point is that Herb Sendek has been allowed to continue to try to use NC State’s resources and platform, despite obvious opportunities in the past to have gone in different directions. (Note: I do not believe that Herb Sendek should have been fired after most of the last 4 years. That does not mean that his performance of the last four years justifies the unprecedented decision to retain him after the 2001 season or that his contract should have been extended so often thereby securing his position within the program so deeply.)

Lee Fowler is our Athletics Director, and as of THIS MORNING, the Athletics Department that he leads – and the basketball program that Herb Sendek has led for almost a decade – has NEVER, EVER been further behind Carolina’s and Duke’s in championships.

This makes me wonder…when Lee Fowler comments that NC State should not be as good of a program as Duke and Carolina…is his statement really a proclamation of what he believes to be true? Or is it an attempt to justify and excuse the obvious facts that our program has performed significantly below our historical level against these schools under his leadership?

The fact that today’s sad state of affairs was coronated on the 22nd anniversary of the greatest National Championship experience in the history of college basketball (owned by NC State) only serves as an extra dagger in the heart of those Wolfpackers that really care. Or, should I say those that USED to care? (After I have commiserated with 4 different lifetime rights holders just this morning who all sound like Muhammad Ali took them out back for an hour, I am not sure there are that many that care anymore. This morning, I’ve heard lifetime rights holders and lifelong fans (all over the age of 33) use words and phrases like, “who cares”, “I quit”, “give up”, and “focus on football, at least we have a chance to be better than our peers there.”)

National Pie
NCAA Titles Table

NCAA Titles Graph

* Just 15 years ago, NC State owned 50% of all NCAA Basketball Championships owned by Atlantic Coast Conference schools. Today, NC State owns 20% of all NCAA Titles owned by ACC schools.

* In the last 15 years that has seen Carolina employ four different basketball coaches, NC State open a $166 Million palace of a basketball facility, and Duke labor in a 9,000 seat, 60 year old arena…the Tarheels have won 2 National Titles, the Blue Devils have won 3, and NC State has reached only one Sweet 16.

Conference Pie

ACC Titles Table

ACC Titles Graph

* It was 18 years ago the ACC Tournament was last played in the Washington, DC area (Landover, Maryland to be exact). NC State won that tournament by completing a clean sweep of our Big Four Rivals – defeating Duke in overtime in the quarterfinals; Wake Forest in the semi-finals in double overtime; and #1 ranked UNC-CH on Sunday. That was the last Championship of merit that NC State’s Basketball Program can claim.

* On that fateful day in 1987, NC State had won 29.4% of all ACC Tournament Titles – 10 to be exact. No school had more; Carolina also had 10 Titles. Duke, that program that supposedly is insurmountable because they have “always been good” and that Lee Fowler says that NC State fans should not compare ourselves against had only 7 Championships.

* NC State now ranks a distant third in the list of total ACC Championships, having won only 19.4% of all titles.
I’d just like to personally thank the Larry Monteith, Todd Turner, Les Robinson, Herb Sendek, Lee Fowler (and even Marye Ann Fox) fraternity for their ability to manage such a formerly successful program into an 18 year drought that is almost statistically impossible. Oh well…wait til next year!

* In the 43 years of ACC Basketball prior to Herb Sendek’s arrival at NC State, the Wolfpack program had lost in a grand total of 3 ACC Title games. In his first 7 years, Herb Sendek lost as many ACC Championship games as NC State had lost in the program’s previous 43 year history.

* In the 43 years of ACC Basketball prior to Herb Sendek’s arrival at NC State, the Wolfpack program had played in 13 ACC Championships, averaging one appearance for every 3.3 years and one Championship in every 4.3 years. In 9 years of coaching, Herb Sendek has delivered a number of appearances that coincide with NC State’s historical average, but has not won a single championship despite a historical average that would indicate that he should have two titles by now.

* Before 1991, NC State was 42-27 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament for a 61% winning percentage. Herb Sendek is 13-9 in the ACC Tournament comprising a 59% winning percentage.

* Herb Sendek lost his 5th game to Duke in the ACC Tournament in 9 years in Washington. (Sendek is now 3-20 overall against Duke in 9 years). After the 1990 season, NC State was 7-7 against Duke in the ACC Tournament. Today, NC State is 8-14 against Duke in the ACC Tournament.

* Before 1990, Florida State had not yet diluted the ACC and no games between weaker teams were played in the Tournament before the quarterfinals on Friday. NC State was 42-27 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament for a 61% winning percentage prior to 1991. Of Herb Sendek’s 13 wins in the ACC Tournament, three victories have come in Thursday games as a result of the opportunity to play weak opponents because our regular season was so bad. Herb Sendek is 10-9 in the ACC Tournament in games not played on Thursday and more consistent with the historical ACC.

* In 1988, NC State was the 7th program in the country to win 1,200 games. We are now 23rd on the all time win list.

Please don’t bother dropping any smart ass comments to this entry. They won’t be posted on the site. I’m tired of dealing with the focus on me as opposed to focusing on our perpetually disappearing pie. I don’t create the reality, I simply comment on it.

If YOU view these statistics negatively or consider them a “bash” of some sort, perhaps you should judge your reaction to the facts and the content of the message as opposed to directing your frustration at the messenger.

I have NO IMPACT on the reality that is illustrated by these simple numbers and statistics. Since all I do is research and comment on the facts as I compile them, while not taking a salary or any form of compensation from anyone, I am not real keen on being criticized personally for incubating what could be interesting discussions. If you want to discuss your perspective of NC State Basketball’s “Perpetually Disappearing Pie”, then I politely encourage you to share your thoughts ON THE TOPIC and welcome any and all of your comments. It could be quite interesting. It would be nice for some that are not hurting from NC State’s continued fall from prominence to share some perspective.

If you simply want to make snide and personal remarks about me (whom you know nothing about), then please don’t bother.

General NCS Basketball

12 Responses to Perpetually Disappearing Pie

  1. John 04/05/2005 at 12:07 PM #

    It’s sad that you have to argue with NC State fans about NC State’s history. We have disappeared so far off the college basketball map that making a sweet sixteen is a cause for celebration. Thanks for putting things in perspective.

  2. Steve Skaggs 04/05/2005 at 2:29 PM #

    I’m 38, graduated in 1989, and grew up a Wolfpack fan, so I well remember how our program used to be.

    I’m not exactly “hurting” because of our decline over the last 15 years or so. It’s been such a long time that I guess I’ve gotten used to it. I don’t like it, but there’s not much I can do about it. We flat-out sucked for most of the 90’s, and there’s plenty of blame to go around for that (mostly the administration falling on its sword unnecessarily). But Duke has been unbelievably good in the time outlined above, and except for a couple of beautiful seasons, so has UNC. I’d like to see other ACC coaches’ records against Duke/UNC over the same time period (I’m too lazy to look it up), but it seems to me that no one else who had similar results to Herb is still around! Obviously, the best time to have made a change would have been after the implosion of 2001, but nothing happened(how long had Fowler been around at this time? Did the new AD not want to fire someone right away?).

    I don’t think Herb is a bad coach. I don’t think Herb is a great coach. I think it’s possible that the excruciatingly slow rate of improvement will continue until he’s actually winning a championship of some sort. I hope it does. But I’m not holding my breath.

    Fifteen years is long enough for my priorities to have changed enough to where I just don’t care as much anymore. I miss it, though. The sweet 16 was enough to bring back a flood of great memories. It just didn’t last quite long enough.

  3. scott 04/05/2005 at 2:49 PM #

    The only “positive” I can come up with about last night’s UNC win is that maybe, just maybe, some Wolfpackers who have been complacent about Herb will be embarrassed enough to finally realize something needs to change in the NCSU Athletic Dept. or we’re just going to fall further behind our rivals. Their success means more money in their coffers from licensed merchandise, exposure from TV commercials, and tons of free & positive publicity to help lure in great players. It simply can’t be cheaper in the long run to retain a mediocre coach. NCSU had a chance to make gains vs. UNC when their program was down, but Herb couldn’t take advantage of it. Caulton Tudor (Raleigh N&O) is right today when he says it’s hard to imagine Roy won’t be taking UNC back to the Final Four again. It is equally hard to imagine that Herb will ever get there. And I don’t get particularly excited about UNC losing several players to the pros & players like Costner & Fells coming to State. UNC & Duke each still have 3 McDonald’s All-Americans coming in to our one. And its still Herb vs. Mike and Herb vs. Roy, so one can’t reasonably expect any significant change in the pecking order. Besides, remember Herb apologists claimed Wilkens & then Hodge were going take NCSU’s program to the “next level?” When will NCSU decide to abandon this “Vanderbilt” athletic mentality & actually aim to win championships?

  4. Jeremy 04/05/2005 at 3:07 PM #

    Another great look at what is being done to our legacy. I wish we could apologize to Coaches Case, Maravich, Sloan, and Valvano for what we’ve done to what they built.

  5. Jeff 04/05/2005 at 4:12 PM #

    Ray, great comments all around.

    But Duke has been unbelievably good in the time outlined above, and except for a couple of beautiful seasons, so has UNC.

    I think that you hit the nail on the head here and illustrate my larger, overall point.

    You are absolutely correct that Carolina & Duke have been amazing in the last 15 years…but they have had 15 years of success (together) unlike anything that the two programs had ever experienced BEFORE 1990. Don’t you find that timing just a little odd? Additionally, Wake Forest experienced peaks in the mid 1990s and again over the last 3 years that their program had not EVER experienced.

    What a coincidence that these schools are experiencing such lofty perches at the EXACT same time that we suck so badly. Perhaps…just perhaps…these programs wouldn’t be what they are today if we hadn’t rolled over and died for them to have it so easy. Exactly WHO was Coach K BEFORE Jimmy V was run out? How many titles did Dean Smith own in 1991? You ever heard of a 4-eyed assistant coach at Virginia named Dave Odom back then?

    It surprises me that so many people accept the last 15 years of success from our neighbors without ever drawing the correllation that a large part of their success could be attributed to our failures. Or, I guess that it is only a coincidence that they had NEVER reached these heights in the previous 40 years of basketball that also never contained us reaching the lows that we reached.

    I’d like to see other ACC coaches’ records against Duke/UNC over the same time period (I’m too lazy to look it up), but it seems to me that no one else who had similar results to Herb is still around!

    The difference is that every other school in the ACC at least ATTEMPTS to do something about competing with them. The concept of “competing with Carolina and Duke” is 100% analagous with competing on a national level. There is no difference between the two. We don’t have to play Carolina or Duke every night on our schedule…but, if you can compete with them, then you are also competing at a high level nationally. And, vice versa.

    In the last 9 years as NC State has sat idly by and NOT competed at a national level, every school in the ACC has had more coaches than us except for Maryland & Duke. (Both won National Titles within the last 5 years). Even Carolina has had FOUR coaches in their attempt to maintain the level of their program. If coaches don’t succeed, the other schools at least TRY to do something by trying something new.

    For a 4 year period around 2000, Wake Forest was pretty good but had fallen from the national perch that they had created for themselves in the mid-1990s.

  6. Matt 04/05/2005 at 4:50 PM #

    I moved to the area just 8 years ago, so my ACC history is mostly learned and not experienced, but I think you are wrong about Duke and UNC not being great before 1990.

    Check out here and here for detailed stats.

    But from 1970-1990, UNC finished 1st in the ACC 11 times and 2nd 6 times. They had gone to 11 ACC championship games and won 6 of them. They went to the NCAA tourney 17 times out of those 20 years and went to the Sweeet 16 or better 13 times, the championship game three times and winning it once.

    Duke, in the 7 years Coach K was there from 1984-1990, finished top 3 in the ACC all but one year, won two ACC tourney titles, went to the NCAAs all seven years, reaching the Final Four four times, and the championship game twice.

    Now, for perspective, during the same time-frame (1984-1990), Jimmy V’s State team finished in the top 3 only three times, with only 3 winning ACC records and one ACC championship. He took them to five NCAA tournaments in that time, but never went further than the Elite 8 and to the Sweet 16 or better only three times.

    Author’s Note: Anyone can carve stats from very small portions of time off the interent and try to prove a point. But, the point isn’t nearly as significant as a point made with over 40 years of data.

    I didn’t say that UNC-CH and Duke weren’t great before NC State gave up on basketball in 1990. I said that they weren’t AS great as they have been since 1990. Especially Duke. Duke had NEVER won a National Title until 1991 and they’ve won 3 since then. Duke won 7 ACC Titles in the first 35 years of the ACC Tournament. They have won 8 in the last 18 years. In the process, they have beaten NC State in the ACC Tournament seven times. Guess what…if NC State were better…Duke doesn’t win 8 titles in 18 years because we would have beaten them. That’s the point. It’s very hard to argue otherwise when the two programs had split 14 ACC Tournament games in the 40 years prior.

  7. Chip 04/05/2005 at 10:15 PM #

    I have been a Wolfpack my whole life. Last night I watched the game in Chapel Hill at He’s Not Here because my wife (a Carolina Grad) had gone to every home game with me this season and agreed to take a car trip to Syracuse for the Sweet Sixteen from Greensboro with 2 other State fans. As she and 500 plus ecstatic Carolina fans watched the game, I sat quietly and emotionlessly. Occasionally, I watched the game, but I paid more attention to the fans. They were so happy, so excited, so united. After the game, when all the fans took to Franklin I was in awe of what was happening. It was a surreal experience. Everywhere, fans of all ages, races, classes were celebrating together enjoying a common goal achieved. I, however, was emotionless, solemn, calm. Never have I witnessed anything like that firsthand. You hear stories about what happens after winning a National Championship but experiencing the event in person is totally different.

    As for the “Disappearing Pie”, I have been keeping up with it since Carolina went up one championship in 93. Who would have thought the margin would grow so much over the next 12 years? Now the margin with Duke and Carolina is so great that it seems insurmountable. It was insurmountable even before last night.

    That calm I felt last night in the middle of the excitment was an acceptance of defeat. I have fought for too long defending State against those who say that that we are not as good as Carolina and Duke nor have we ever been. With regard to the past, the facts are on my side as you previously articulated. But that doesn’t matter. 1990 was a long time ago, and 1983 even longer. I just don’t have it in me to make such arguements anymore. And that’s saying a lot. Everyone who knows me at one time has probably wanted me to shut up about the history and tradition of NC State basketball. It’s one thing to defend the program against fans of other schools, but when you have to convenince other State fans and the administration that we deserve to be as good as Carolina and Duke, it’s too demoralizing.

    I graduated from high school in 93, NCSU in 97 and law school in 2001. During the years that I could most enjoy basketball success, State was the worst in school history. It hasn’t gotten much better. Last weekend I drove 12 hours to watch us lose another game that we shouldn’t. I have never been allowed, nor have other State fans of my generation been allowed, to experience what I witnessed last night in Chapel Hill and I don’t think that we ever will. I have lost hope in the future and too tired to reminisce about the past.

  8. blpack 04/05/2005 at 10:32 PM #

    Preach on, Jeff.
    I am saddened by our administration’s lack of vision and stubborness.
    I wonder sometimes what LF is thinking.
    I have a question for you. How is best to contact you?

  9. miles 04/06/2005 at 7:45 AM #

    pretty much sums it up for me. I remember when I looked forward to watching away games and attending home games in basketball. Now….I can’t watch….I literally can’t watch. It becomes too frustrating. FWIW, I think that there is a special place in hell for the inventor of the Princeton offense.

  10. Sammy Kent 04/06/2005 at 8:38 AM #

    The doubly sad thing is that while Fowler continues to execute a de facto de-emphasis of basketball while publicly claiming otherwise, Dook, Maryland, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest among ACC schools will very likely win NCAA and ACC titles or reach a Final Four or two within the next three years, because THEIR coaches will use Carolina’s victory Monday to motivate themselves and their teams to match Roy’s success. You can bet Kersherooski is already champing at the bit for next season to start. He WANTS to fight for supremecy. Gary Williams and Paul Hewitt are determined to wrest some ACC glory from the state of NC, and Prosser has proven he can beat the big boys in the regular season. As long as Fowler and Sendek are in office we are doomed to continued mediocrity or worse.

  11. Ricky 04/08/2005 at 4:35 PM #

    Your comments are on the money! I don’t even bother to mention our tradition to anyone, anymore, because those such as Lee Fowler choose to discount it whenever possible.


  1. StateFans Nation » Blog Archive » Get It Back - 02/05/2007

    GGPvi9 Great blog post.Really thank you! Awesome.

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