NC State vs NCAA Tournament Teams

The NCAA Tournament is now in full effect, so why not spend a moment focusing on NC State’s performance against NCAA Tournament teams?

We’ve done a little research and couldn’t believe what we learned. Scratch that. We totally believed what we learned. What we learned was exactly the kind of perspective and statistic that we referenced for years regarding NC State’s Basketball program’s under-performance while being coached by that other guy for years.

The Wolfpack’s performance against some pretty good teams in Coach Lowe’s first season serves to further underscore the significant underperformance of the program against anything resembling decent competition in recent years.

The recent formula for ‘success’ was simple and was no secret — create an embarassing out of conference schedule to pad the overall record and then hope to get just enough wins in the ACC season to skate into the NCAA Tournament. The formula yielded four bids from the bubble in our “great” five year run of NCAA Tournament appearances.

Can you believe that since 1994, only Herb Sendek’s 2004 squad had a better record against NCAA teams than this year’s NC State team? (Sadly, I bet that you can.) In 2004, NC State was 9-7 against NCAA teams. Sendek’s nine other years failed to equal Sidney Lowe‘s 6-9 record in his first season!!!

NC State vs NCAA teams since 1994:
(SL) 07: 6-9
(HS) 06: 3-6
(HS) 05: 4-8
(HS) 04: 9-7
(HS) 03: 2-7
(HS) 02: 1-8
(HS) 01: 4-15
(HS) 00: 2-6
(HS) 99: 2-8
(HS) 98: 4-10
(HS) 97: 4-12
(LR) 96: 4-12
(LR) 95: 1-9
(LR) 94: 5-10

For the decade, Sendek was 32-82 (28%) overall against NCAA Tournament teams and 26-73 in the regular season. Among those wins were out of conference automatic bid recipients South Carolina State, Winthrop, UNC-Greensboro, BYU, Florida A&M and Louisiana Lafayette. (If only Delaware State could have made the dance this season to have helped Sidney’s record!) If Coach Lowe never peaks (or valleys) from his first season, he will approach Sendek’s total number of wins over NCAA Tournament teams in exactly half the time it took Sendek.

As I look back at this information, the scariest thing about the facts is that NC State not only accepted such long term performance, but tried to REWARD the performance in both the Les Robinson and Herb Sendek erea. Todd Turner offered Les Robinson a contract extension in 1996 before Robinson resigned while Lee Fowler continued to believe (and publicly state) until the day Herb Sendek voluntarily CHOSE to leave Raleigh that Sendek was both very successful and was the best that NC State could do.