Missed Opportunity

Instead of moving up with a road win, State dropped down four with the loss. This was State’s first loss of the year to an RPI-100+ team. You can try to polish that up if you like…but I think you will end up just making a mess. This game illustrates why the RPI and other formulas give more credit to playing teams ranked 150 over teams ranked 250…the odds of losing are increased dramatically.

My last entry was so long, that I left out a graph that illustrates that State needs to win about four games out of five just to maintain their current position in the various rankings. This was the loss…now we need four wins.


Games Against RPI Top-100


















North Carolina



Boston College


Seton Hall



George Washington

























Miami (twice)





Notre Dame








Georgia Tech

State is still 4-4 against the RPI Top-50. With BC moving down and UNC moving up, State’s record against the Top-25 stands at 0-3. (That can’t help when it comes time to actually determine NCAAT seeds.) State has FSU @ home and VT on the road this week. (UVa discussed below.)

Seton Hall got hammered by 42 pts at home Saturday by UConn….Ouch! That loss dropped them back, but they are still comfortably in the Top-50.

GW won their last game of note before the A-10 tournament by beating St Joe’s on the road. GW’s weak schedule seems to be getting a lot of air time…It would be interesting to see how far they would drop in the voting polls should they stumble against one of the remaining RPI-100+ teams left to play.

Alabama plays SC on the road Tuesday. It would be nice if they could build a little cushion before they play Tenn at home on Saturday.
















NC State




North Carolina



Boston College












Florida State












Wake Forest




Virginia Tech




Georgia Tech



Team names link to results and future schedule at kenpom.com.
“ACC� links to standings/ranks for all ACC teams.


UVa moved up nicely with a home win against VT…but they still have a way to go to clear the bubble. I don’t think that their next game against Longwood (#315) at home will be enough to move them into the Top-50. They have a big game against FSU on the road next Saturday.

The loss to Duke didn’t hurt MD badly. A win in Little John on Wednesday has to be considered nearly critical for the Terps’ chances at a NCAAT bid.

BC actually slipped a bit with a home win over Clemson.

UNC stopped their mini-slide caused by a home win against Clemson and the loss to Duke.

Miami will probably bury their NCAAT chances in the hole they started digging this past week. Coming up this week – at BC and at Duke.

FSU actually moved onto the outer, outer edges of the bubble this week. But with the overall strength of the ACC down, they have alot of ground to make up. Bottom line…FSU has more on their mind than just playing spoiler when they come to Raleigh this week.

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

General NCS Basketball

29 Responses to Missed Opportunity

  1. Trout 02/13/2006 at 9:16 AM #

    So does the loss @GT replace the loss at home to Seton Hall as the “worst” loss of the season?

    At the time, Seton Hall was RPI #85, and it was at home. They have since moved up significantly. I dont see GT making a huge move up. Maybe, maybe, then get into Top 100 territory, but I doubt it. This loss was on the road.

  2. VaWolf82 02/13/2006 at 9:25 AM #

    Discussing the worst loss sounds like arguing about who picked up the ugliest girl at a bar. In the end, they are both pretty bad.

    Strictly from an RPI standpoint…the SH home loss was worst. From the subjective standpoint of the NCAAT Selection Committee (who probably didn’t see how bad State played against SH), then you would have to think that a late-season loss to GT was worse. How bad will obviously be a function of how GT plays during the rest of the season.

  3. Trout 02/13/2006 at 9:33 AM #

    IMO, the Seton Hall loss is still the ugliest girl in the bar. It was at home, and we got totally manhandled.

    The GT game, however, factors into the “Last 10 games” component of seeding.

    GT was on the road, and I dont think NC State played poorly, just that GT stepped it up, and Zam Frederick had a monster game. I’m sure Hewitt drilled it into his kids about losing 7 in a row to NC State.

    Just 2 comments from the GT game, both on officiating:

    1)Tony makes a steal, is headed for a layup. Gets tripped by GT, no call.

    2)Dickey is in the lane. Absolutely runs over Illian (charge, not called). Ced comes over to defend, gets his 5th foul, Dickey makes the basket and the FT. That sequence was huge.

  4. class of '74 02/13/2006 at 9:39 AM #

    The past five game trend for us has not been good and with remaining games a #4 seed would seem to be a long shot. Now looking for a #5 or #6 seed at t best!

  5. BJD95 02/13/2006 at 9:53 AM #

    I thought Ilian flopped. He does have a history of doing that, too.

  6. Trout 02/13/2006 at 10:00 AM #

    ^ He does, but not on that play. Dickey lowered the shoulder.

  7. BJD95 02/13/2006 at 10:03 AM #

    It’s quite possible that the history influenced how I viewed the play. Possibly the refs, too.

  8. Jim 02/13/2006 at 10:23 AM #

    What about Duke’s history of flopping? It doesn’t seem to hurt them with calls.

  9. Sam '92 02/13/2006 at 10:34 AM #

    for sheer, unadulterated ugly, the seton hall loss has to win (what a contest, huh)

    call me crazy, but i think this loss might be just what the doctor ordered, a reminder to the guys that if they are not on top of their game they will get beat. here’s hopin’ they can take this loss as a directive to focus from here on out.

  10. Jim 02/13/2006 at 10:35 AM #

    It bothers me that we can go 12-24 from 3 and still lose to a team that had lost 8 straight. Somehow that all does not add up for me.

  11. Jim 02/13/2006 at 10:59 AM #

    Speaking of Troutman, “First Blood” was on AMC last night. Although I think he spells his name different.

  12. Rick 02/13/2006 at 11:10 AM #

    The Sendek years seem to be a story of missed opportunities.

  13. class of '74 02/13/2006 at 12:03 PM #

    ^Watch out the HSSS will tell you that’s steady improvement not missed opportunities!

  14. Mr O 02/13/2006 at 12:45 PM #

    We looked really dead on the court yesterday. Simmons especially. He has struggled more than anyone we have over the last 4-5 games.

    The season is going to be determined by how we do in March either way. Disappointing loss, but fortunately we have positioned ourselves where it doesn’t hurt us too badly. We are probably going to end up being somewhere between a 4-6 seed assuming we can get back on track.

  15. JeremyHyatt 02/13/2006 at 3:12 PM #

    Sure its a missed opportunity, any lose in the midst of a ground-breaking season must be considered so.

    I think if we beat UNC anc BC this game is forgiven…

    Watching the game Sunday, I couldn’t help but think our team is just not that athletic. Which shows up as porous defense, lack of rebounding, inability to cause turnovers, and lack of penetration. State is a guard-oriented team, yet we do not have someone that can consistently penetrate, and dish or make easy jumpers. Its always “penetrate a little bit”, and then kick out for the three.

    How can we address this? Play Grant more? Sure. He is long and athletic and gives our team a different feel and capability when out there. What else? What about Fells? If some of our starters are too winded to play intense D on the leading scorer on the opposition, stick him in there for 10 minutes and make his sole assignment to hound that guy. Experiment a little. Glaring flaws will continue to be glaring flaws unless they are addressed.

    I felt that yesterday’s game was winnable, especially down by 2 with 3 minutes left. Simmons being out hurt us. The refs weren’t being particularly nice to us. Bennerman missed the three at the end in the same space of making it in a Clemson game we were deathly close to losing like this. Grant did not know what time it was? I don’t what that was.

    Maybe it is better that the team lose this game. Its the wakeup call we have avoided for several games now. Performances that allow us to skate by mid-lower tier ACC teams is not going to be enough to make a dent in March. Or should we hope we don’t have to face athletic and speedy guards like those on Virginia and Tech? That’s not enough. We have some glaring weaknesses that some teams will and have exploit.

  16. Clarksa 02/13/2006 at 4:29 PM #

    “The season is going to be determined by how we do in March either way.”

    I agree. I can’t say that I really care about a “breakout season” of say a random 13-3 result in conference play as long as we finish the regular season at the #2 or at worst #3 in the ACC. A #2 or #3 finish will keep us from playing on Thursday and it will keep us out of Duke’s bracket in the ACC tournament.

    This season will be defined and remembered by the tournament results, not by the regular season. At a minimum, we should be in the ACC tournament finals and the Sweet 16. If not, then the season will be labled as a “missed opportunity.”

  17. BJD95 02/13/2006 at 4:36 PM #

    I largely agree with clarksa, with the caveat that I’d trade the ACCT finals appearance for an Elite 8 or better. Actually winning the ACCT would probably make up for an NCAAT wipeout as well.

    But, damn it, we do need to do SOMETHING special this March.

  18. BJD95 02/13/2006 at 4:50 PM #

    Reading the N&O’s ACC blog, it said there was a stretch near the end of the first half where both teams combined for NINE CONSECUTIVE turnovers. Is that true? If so, that had to be a sight to behold.

  19. Fish 02/13/2006 at 8:19 PM #

    Anyone thinking State basketball will do something special in March is not being very objective given the Sendek’s lack of achievements and the fact this team has played progressively worse since December 30, 2005.

    UNC is starting to play much better and consistent basketball. So has BC. Duke is playing lights out and does not appear to be even close to peaking. FSU is beginning to play consistent night in night out.

    I am afraid our team peaked in December and what you see is what you are going to get from here to ACC tourney and hopefully the tourney.

  20. JeremyHyatt 02/13/2006 at 11:31 PM #

    We still have time to peak. (If we peaked in December it was because we were playing cupcakes.) I think we’re standing up well to ACC competition, but there is obviously room for improvement. What I like about the team is that the potential is there, it just needs to be fully realized; its like a sleeping giant.

  21. scott 02/14/2006 at 12:44 AM #

    Frankly, I would take a superb regular season (13-3, 24-5 or 12-4, 23-6) even if we flop in the post-season, but would of course prefer a nice run in March. But, for God’s sake, Herb needs to accomplish SOMETHING significant this year since UNC & most of the rest of league should be better next year.

  22. Mr O 02/14/2006 at 10:13 AM #

    I think we will win 11 or 12 games in the regular season. If that happens, then overall that is a fairly strong regular season. But, the measure of this season will most definitely be performance in March.

    If we do not make at least the Sweet 16, then it will largely be a disappointment among NC State supporters and rightfully so IMO. Making the Sweet 16 would be back to back appearances and would show some consistency at a fairly high level. I completely agree with Clarksa that an ACC final appearance and Sweet 16 appearance is a minimum that Herb needs to keep the momentum of the program going. A win in the ACC tournament and/or Final 8 and I think that Herb will have increased the momentum of the program. Herb really needs to make a birdie this season.

  23. class of '74 02/14/2006 at 10:31 AM #

    ^I fear a shank is upcoming.

  24. Mr O 02/14/2006 at 10:43 AM #

    Not the dreaded shank? 🙂

    I was going to make this entirely a golf analogy, so since Class of 74 brought up the shank I will finish it. Let’s assume we go 11-5 in the ACC.

    1. Losses to UNC and BC, no ACC tourney title,

  25. Mr O 02/14/2006 at 10:44 AM #

    Wow. Wish I could edit posts. Maybe I will try that again later. I just had results of the season equated from double bogey to eagle.

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