Miami Beats Clemson, Potentially Helps Pack


Frank Haith’s Miami Hurricanes beat Clemson, 75-72, today in a key ACC match-up that may ultimately serve to support NC State’s slim chances to earn an NCAA Tournament bid when the 2007-2008 college basketball regular season comes to a close.

I definitely understand that Clemson will have a stronger mathematical impact on NC State’s RPI than Miami in light of the fact that the Wolfpack plays Clemson twice this season and Miami only once. But, as important as I believe a strong RPI is to any NCAA Tournament bid I also recognize the need for any NCAA Tournament resume to include as many ‘good wins’ as possible.

The more ‘good wins’ a team can add to their resume, the stronger a ‘bubble’ resume will look; and, victories over teams who earn NCAA Tournament helps define a ‘good win’.

If the NCAA Tournament were to hypothetically select their field before today’s games only North Carolina, Duke and Clemson would have been guaranteed to receive bids from the ACC. BUT, Miami’s win today improved the Hurricanes record to 14-4 and their RPI from the bubble of #40 to a safe number of #32. Hypothetically, the Hurricanes now would be an NCAA Tournament team and therefore provide the Wolfpack another win over a (hypothetical) NCAA Tournament participant. (Don’t be too concerned for Clemson right now, the Tigers are still #27 in the RPI with a 14-5 record).

Excluding Florida State whose wins over Florida and Minnesota are becoming heavily diluted by other losses, NC State currently has five wins over eams who have legitimate chances of securing NCAA Tournament bids this season – Rider, Miami, Villanova, Davidson, Seton Hall. Assuming that Clemson stays above water then the Wolfpack has four more games remaining on the schedule – three of which are at home – against the ACC’s guaranteed NCAA Tournament teams of UNC-CH, Duke, Clemson. An upset in one or more of these match-ups would be huge for State’s resume and RPI.

The Atlantic Coast Conference exhibits phenomenal balance across twelve teams and is currently the top rated conference in the RPI. For example, the ACC doesn’t have a team with an RPI currently worse than #86 while the Pac-10 four teams with RPI’s worse than the 12th team in the ACC – Washington, Arizona State, California and Oregon State. You read that correctly. The great Arizona State that the media has been lauding as such a succeess story currently sits at #91 in the RPI, forty spots behind NC State and five spots behind the ACC’s worst team.

The ACC’s balance is fantastic. But after listening to idiots like Doug Gottlieb last night who extolled his unwaivering conviction that the Pac 10 is clearly the best conference in America because it is so difficult “from to to bottom”, I am concerned that the ACC’s depth of balance is not being appreciated by the college basketball community and therefore will ultimately hurt the league’s chances of obtaining our fair share of NCAA Tournament bids.

Therefore, I think that it is imperative that the ACC needs more teams to establish themselves as clear NCAA Tournament teams while creating a more clear differentiation between the haves and the have nots. Basically, it would be better for the conference for some teams to start succeeding at the expense of other teams. For example, it would be particular helpful if Boston College, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest started losing more to NC State, Clemson, Miami, Maryland and Florida State.

Here’s a cheer for Miami. Keep up the good work.

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

07-08 Basketball

40 Responses to Miami Beats Clemson, Potentially Helps Pack

  1. MatSci94 01/27/2008 at 5:12 PM #

    I think usually when people say “top to bottom” they usually mean “top to middle” and forget the last place or so.

    Its interesting to look at the numbers. The 4rd place ACC team (by RPI, not record) is 41. 4th in the Pac-10 is 29, so the Pac-10 doesn’t drop off quite as quick as the ACC. On the ACC side, the entire bottom half of the ACC fits between 6th and 7th in the Pac-10 (6th – 51, 7th – 90).

    The Pac-10 clearly separates into thirds. Top (1-3 are top 12 RPI) Middle (4-6 are 30-50 RPI) and Bottom (rest are 90+, with one at 236).

    The ACC has 1 and 2 in the top 6, 3 is 25, and the rest of the league’s 9 teams are from 41-86, without much clear distinction between the groups.

    Like the SEC in football, I think this is what makes ACC basketball the best conference. If you don’t bring your best game to a “bottom third” team, you will loose. Every year a couple of teams get knocked off this way.

  2. wufpup76 01/27/2008 at 5:41 PM #

    forgive this off-topic post, but i have turned it to the GT – UVa game only a couple of times so far and EACH time i turned it there i saw GT travel on two seperate possesions – nethier of which were called and both possessions resulted in scores … just seemed like a strange case of deja-vu 🙂

    not hurting the cavs as much as it did us … uva leads by 10 at the break … not quite sure what it is about gt, walks, and no calls … strange

    also related to our rpi though, seton hall defeated cincy earlier today @ seton hall … cincy ALREADY has quality big east wins and of course we beat them @ home and seton hall up in new jersey … we need each team to get as many big east wins as possible

    every little thing helps 😉

  3. BillyVest 01/27/2008 at 5:49 PM #

    What hurts the ACC’s chances of securing more NCAA bids is our poor showing in the NCAA tournament the last two years. We did not send a team to the Final Four and last year we had a record 7 teams go to the NCAA’s, while only North Carolina (I think) made it out of the opening weekend.

    As far as saying we beat 5 NCAA tournament teams, I think you overrate Seton Hall, and ‘Nova is looking more like a bubble team, at the moment, with some tough losses to lesser Big East schools.

    Seton Hall’s RPI is up and down and right now they seem to be on the outside of the bubble, looking in, with an RPI of 49. Rider has to win their division to get earn a bid to the NCAA’s and they look to be in a position to do this.

    At the moment, we need to beat Carolina, Duke and/or Clemson to make a case for our NCAA tournament resume. Basically we need to atone for our bad upset losses and blow out losses, no national TV.

    A win Thursday (the heavens part and all is right again in the world) would be HUGE, though unlikely.

  4. JeremyH 01/27/2008 at 6:56 PM #

    do we pull for duke or maryland tonite? I say Duke because Duke will stay at the top of the league, and two because there is no way Duke gets upset two times in a row.

  5. RAWFS 01/27/2008 at 7:09 PM #

    It’s difficult for me to pull for Duke’s basketball team under any circumstances, but on the other hand I certainly do not want to play them immediately after a loss.

  6. DT44 01/27/2008 at 7:38 PM #

    Duke WILL be in the Dance. MD is potentially a team we’ll be compared to–so case closed, go Dook.

  7. redfred2 01/27/2008 at 8:17 PM #

    JH, I’d rather see the Terps win, but I’d prefer not going into Cameron Indoor after a loss.

  8. redfred2 01/27/2008 at 8:20 PM #

    Vasquez, Gonzalez, and Lopez, all good ACC point guards.

  9. RAWFS 01/27/2008 at 8:20 PM #

    MD is potentially a team we’ll be compared to–so case closed, go Dook.

    Let’s handle that one head to head.

  10. JeremyH 01/27/2008 at 8:29 PM #

    Duke was pre-season picked 3rd in the ACC under us, Maryland picked, and GT 7th, and Clemson fourth. Obviously reality changes all this, but I think our two remaining games against Clemson(home) and Maryland(C. Park) are going to be huge and deciding. I think it will end up that we NEED one of those as wins.

    SFN: What preseason polls were you looking at? Duke was picked in front of State in every preseason list that had an ounce of merit.

  11. JeremyH 01/27/2008 at 8:33 PM #

    RAWFS: unless we see them in the ACC tourney, we only see them once. Wow I guess I am realizing how big that GT loss was. We must beat Maryland or Clemson once, I think. This making other assumptions I am not pointing out at this time.

  12. JeremyH 01/27/2008 at 8:38 PM #

    Scheyer reminds me of Shavlik Randolph.

  13. gopack968 01/27/2008 at 8:42 PM #

    It is physically impossible for me to pull for Duke. I don’t care what the circumstance, RPI advantage, or who they are playing against. Situational fandom is fine, except in the case of UNX or Dook. In those cases it is potentially immoral.

    With 1:2o left I am the biggest MD fan in NC!

  14. VaWolf82 01/27/2008 at 8:52 PM #

    What hurts the ACC’s chances of securing more NCAA bids is our poor showing in the NCAA tournament the last two years

    Past NCAAT results will have absolutely no impact on how many ACC teams get an at-large bid this year.

  15. packgrad2000 01/27/2008 at 9:32 PM #

    Four through 12 in the ACC is a big jumbled mess, and we could finish anywhere in there. We’re at a disadvantage though since we play the top three teams all twice. We’re going to live on the bubble most likely the rest of the season, unless we really fall apart (which could happen).

  16. Astral Rain 01/27/2008 at 9:32 PM #

    Win 7 more games and you’re in, at least that’s what I think.

    The blowouts will suck on the seeding, but any NCAA appearance and this is a good year. Even if it’s a 12 seed with some idiot wagging his finger.

  17. blpack 01/27/2008 at 10:29 PM #

    Lots of work still to do, but State can get it done. Dug ourselves a hole. Probably not happening on Thursday, but let’s move on from there if it doesn’t. 10 ACC left at that point. As stated above, 4-12 is anyone’s to grasp.

  18. Primewolf 01/27/2008 at 11:10 PM #

    It is going to take alot of lucky close wins for us to have any chance at all. Our offensive and defensive play is so inconsistent, we simply can’t come close to beating a reasonable team without it going down to the wire.

    I say we get 5-6 ACC wins this year. We will lose as many close ones as we win and we will get blown out 3-4 more times this year.

    And,I would love to be wrong.

  19. JeremyH 01/27/2008 at 11:44 PM #

    Primewolf: I agree with that win total if the team does not improve. I saw the team improve before our eyes against GT, and I think if that continues, we will once again be a different team in March than in January. The key is minimize damage before that team arrives, and keep battling out those close ones. More consistently, active defense, pushing on the break, and minimizing of turnovers makes this a completely different ball club. The incremental improvement in guard-play has already paid dividends.

  20. Tau837 01/28/2008 at 1:16 AM #

    I’m going with the theory that 20 wins gets us in. Given that we will play on Thursday at the ACC tournament, I think it is possible to count on one win there… more would simply be icing on the cake.

    That means we need 19 regular season wins, which in turn means an 8-8 regular season ACC record. We are 13-6 with 11 games to go… so we need to go 6-5 against this schedule:

    at Duke
    at UMD
    at BC
    at UVA
    at Wake

    Assume we beat Wake twice and VT at home… and we win at BC… and beat FSU again… and we win at UVA… I am not naive enough to think that we can’t lose any or all of those games, but they appear to be the most winnable.

    One problem with that scenario is that none of those wins will be quality wins from an NCAA resume standpoint. And then we’ll probably get win 20 (in my scenario) against one of those same teams in the first round of the ACC tournament.

    Should we lose any of those and/or to improve on 19 regular season wins, we need to win one or more of the 5 other games against Duke (home and away), UNC (home), Clemson (home), and Maryland (away). I think we could beat any of them on a given day, but the Maryland and Clemson games certainly seem more winnable.

    This is all very doable IMO. Not easy, but this team is good enough to do it. Now imagine if the PG play continues to improve and Brandon snaps back to last year’s form… the sky is the limit…

  21. Tau837 01/28/2008 at 1:21 AM #

    To qualify this – “none of those wins will be quality wins from an NCAA resume standpoint” – what I mean is that none of those teams (Wake, VT, BC, UVA, FSU) are likely to be NCAA tournament teams. Our SOS and RPI will probably be solid or better.

    Also, another issue is that in my scenario, barring a deep run in the ACC tournament, we’ll likely be 5-5 or possibly 6-4 over our last 10 games. Not terrible, but not something that will add to our resume.

  22. Sweet jumper 01/28/2008 at 8:48 AM #

    Dave Glenn wrote a nice blog about Hickson being State’s answer, not their problem. This situation seems to be taking care of itself with Ben stepping up and BC stepping down.

  23. choppack1 01/28/2008 at 8:57 AM #

    I would agree that the Pack’s magic # is 7 wins. I’m guessing that our RPI will see a nice little spike even w/ a loss @ Duke. However, we can’t afford more slip-ups on home floor.

    Regarding the conference, I don’t think I can ever recall so much parity in such a large conference or in the ACC. I don’t think there’s very little difference between 4-12 in this league. Every game is nip and tuck. This is what folks mean when they talk about the conference play wearing you down – you simply don’t get the competitiveness and talent 1-12 that you have in the ACC.

    I guess I’m hoping that Clemson emerges as a solid 3rd if we’re going to be stuck in the muck between 4-12. Not one of these teams are great – but they all seem much quicker than us. (It’s worth mentioning that our post game is superior to all 8 of these teams.)

    I have stated in earlier RPI related threads that being on the receiving end of some high-profile blowouts and the 2 inexcusable losses to UNO and ECU could hurt us on selection Sunday. The non- Duke and Carolina ACC is despised by ESPN. We see it happen every year – the ACC beats the Big 10 in the Challenge, but by January, they act as if the challenge never happened and we start hearing about how strong other conferences are. IMHO, State will have to really get on a roll sometime or else many of the talking heads will be using us as proof positive that the ACC is once again overrated.

  24. StateFans 01/28/2008 at 9:37 AM #

    If we had beaten UNO and ECU then we could have made the NCAA with a 7-9 record in the ACC (as long as Villanova would hold up their end of the bargain and have a good year).

    With those losses, we are pretty much guaranteed a bid at 8-8 in the nation’s toughest conference.

  25. choppack1 01/28/2008 at 10:24 AM #

    Nova is struggling now.

    If we somehow get to 8-8 in conference, our RPI should be in the 30s or low 40s. One would think that would get us in unless we run into a storm similar to the one that allowed Woodson to get the Heisman.

    Also, I think it’s good news that our loss to GaTech doesn’t look as bad as it could have on paper earlier.

Leave a Reply