OTR: ACC Record & NCAAT Chances [Updated (10:10am) w/ SOS Links]

Note: If you are somewhat new to SFN and have recently become a reader because of our feature in the NC State Alumni Magazine then please don’t hesitate to click here for somewhat of an opening message.

If you were to click on the “Archives” tab just above the headline to this entry then you would see a host of “tags” and “categories” that can more easily direct you to to past entries here at SFN.

One of the categories that you can browse is titled “On the Record” (Click here to browse) that we sometimes shorten to “OTR”. OTRs are just one place where we go “On the Record” with a prediction &/or expectation and expressly ask you to also log your take on the topic.

NC State’s regular season is just under 50% complete – 14 out of conference games are behind us and 16 conference game remain. A better time therefore could not exist to go ‘On the Record’ and share predictions for NC State’s 2007-2008 ACC Basketball record.

‘At the turn’ the Wolfpack sits 11-3 with an RPI of #59 after playing the 158th toughest schedule in America.

(Please note: we have not played the 158th toughest out of conference schedule in America as many teams have already started conference play. Addtitionall, State’s SOS would have been somewhere in the 70s if it weren’t for our last two games against PC and NCCU. While still producing an OOC SOS SIGNIFICANTLY more acceptable than our previous regime, Coach Lowe’s staff could do themselves a favor by just slightly improving a couple of our cupcakes as the difference between the actual strength of #320 and number #200 is much less significant than the actual impact on our rankings of playing #320 and #200.)

Before the season began I projected that an 11-3 OOC record was the most likely scenario for the Wolfpack heading into ACC play. Of course, had you told me that the Pack would have beaten Villanova, Davidson, Seton Hall and Cincinnati while telling me nothing else I would have been ecstatic and presumed we would be 13-1 at this time. UNO and ECU threw a wrench in those plans.

The impact of the UNO and ECU losses on our season are not to be dismissed yet. As you will see in a moment, due to the strength of our ACC schedule, if the Wolfpack had actually achieved that 13-1 OOC record then we could have skated to an NCAA Tournament berth with a 7-9 ACC record and a 20-10 overall record with little problem.

Heading into ACC play I suggest that you start your analysis by clicking here to give yourself a more clear idea of just how difficult the Wolfpack’s conference slate is this season.

The rest of the ACC’s RPI is currently listed as follows:

(2) UNC-CH
(17) Duke
(36) Florida State
(46) Clemson
(48) Miami
(57) Wake Forest
(73) Virginia
(91) Georgia Tech
(102) Virginia Tech
(110) Boston College
(137) Maryland

In summary, NC State plays:

* NINE games against ACC opponents currently ranked in the RPI’s Top 50.* ELEVEN games against the ACC’s six highest rated teams in the RPI.* only ONE game against the worst rated team in the league, and that is on the road...and here is the killer —

* only FOUR games of a mathematically possible EIGHT match-ups against the lowest rated four teams in the league.

Adjusting for the fact that NC State cannot play ourselves, this means that we effectively play every team in the top 45% of the league for the MAXIMUM amount of games possible while playing every team in the bottom 36% of the league for the MINIMUM amount of games possible.

I’ve heard/seen a lot of people make uneducated projections about the minimum standards needed to get NC State into the NCAA Tournament this season. But, as usually goes with the internet, you get a lot of their opinion without a lot of fact or rational thought behind that fact.

Allow me to propose that if NC State were to achieve an 8-8 ACC record against this difficult of a conference schedule (while the ACC is ranked as one of the best leagues in America this season) that there is no way in hell that a 19-11 Wolfpack squad who would easily be ranked in the RPI’s Top 35-40 would fail to make the NCAA Tournament (unless we lost by 25+ in a Thursday game in the ACC Tournament and was on a painful losing streak at the end of the year).

With all of that said, accounting for the fact the NC State’s already weak and inexperienced backcourt has been impacted by the season-ending injury to our starting point guard in tandem with injuries to our two best shooters (Courtney Fells and Dennis Horner)…I am predicting a most-likely scenario of a 6-10 record for this year’s Wolfpack and an NIT bid with a stretch possibility of an 8-8 record and an NCAA Tournament bid. If the Wolfpack’s record were to fall outside of either side of this 6 to 8 win range then my disappointment or happiness would be greatly enhanced.

To note, the injuries – not just to Degand but the potential residual/lingering impact to Horner and Fells – definitely impacted my prediction. Had Degand remained healthy I would logged an 8-8 expectation which would have presented a strong three game (60%) improvement from last season.

We’d love to see what you think in our comments section…but, we are going to ask you to limit your comments to focusing very much on the topic as in the future we are not going to want to click on this entry and ready random conversations. (So, don’t be surprised if some of your off-topic comments disappear).

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07-08 Basketball NCS Basketball Stat of the Day

109 Responses to OTR: ACC Record & NCAAT Chances [Updated (10:10am) w/ SOS Links]

  1. WTNY 01/11/2008 at 9:43 AM #

    6-10 — Assuming Fells is out no more than UNC-Ch and Clemson

    5-11 (or worse) if Fells is out much longer or there are additional significant injuries

  2. Noah 01/11/2008 at 9:50 AM #

    It was a high ankle sprain, right? It would have been better if he had broken it.

  3. wolfonthehill 01/11/2008 at 9:50 AM #

    And I do blame the extremely bizarre pre-conference schedule for the unenthusiastic and highly uncertain view of where we stand right now.

  4. TNCSU 01/11/2008 at 9:58 AM #

    Primacyone, I’m with you. Javi and MJ are both improving every game. Although, I don’t really mind the pessimism by most, I think it is a little unfounded. No, we haven’t played great offensively, but defensively, we’ve played well. Also, we are on a 7 game WIN streak. I’d rather play subpar and win, than play great and lose.
    Again, 10-6.

  5. RAWFS 01/11/2008 at 10:02 AM #

    It’s tough to decide between 8-8 and 9-7. I think that the team will step up its play and that a lot of the experimentation is going to trickle to a stop.

    This thread should be re-visited in March when all is said and done.

  6. spanky 01/11/2008 at 10:03 AM #

    I’m pretty sure ( >95%) that Fells just had a low ankle sprain. I think Horner had the dreaded high ankle sprain.

  7. StateFans 01/11/2008 at 10:10 AM #


  8. TopTenPack 01/11/2008 at 10:16 AM #

    Average: 5-11
    Best Case (95%): 8-8
    Worst Case (5%): 3-13

  9. StateFans 01/11/2008 at 10:16 AM #

    Additionally, check out wbnation’s comments about 22 comments from the top that was logged Jan 11th, 2008 at 4:20 am.

    I’ve added some comments there.

  10. Girlfriend in a Coma 01/11/2008 at 10:18 AM #

    ” I don’t really mind the pessimism by most, I think it is a little unfounded.”

    LOL! Unfounded?

    Where have you been for the past 20 years? Seriously.

  11. Clarksa 01/11/2008 at 10:32 AM #


  12. Packbacker4life 01/11/2008 at 10:38 AM #

    We could go any where from 6-10 to 11-5. To reach 11-5 Costner has to return to last years form and we have to start hitting alot more outside shots. I think our talent and experience gets us 6 wins. I think Sid’s coaching and passion gets us to 8-8 or 9-7. Then we win 2 ACC tourney games and end up a 6 or 7 seed in the dance.

  13. waxhaw 01/11/2008 at 11:14 AM #

    I’m still sticking with 8-8. I do think some of the road games versus the bottom feeders are hugely important.

    Duke, UNC and Clemson (will be lucky to win more than 1 game)

    That means we would have to go 7-3 versus the other 10 games. Can not have a let down and HAVE to win all other home games and sweep Wake.

  14. StateFans 01/11/2008 at 11:15 AM #

    By the way….are all of you taking the time to click on our Ads to help support us?

    Much appreciated. Thanks

  15. BJD95 01/11/2008 at 11:19 AM #

    Backing up GF in Coma, I think the motto of every State fan should be: It can always get worse (and usually does).

    I clicked on an ad, and learned that you can get ESPN GamePlan in Mexico. That’s damned interesting.

  16. TNCSU 01/11/2008 at 11:21 AM #

    ^^^^Where have you been for the past 20 years? Seriously.

    I guess in a coma…with guess who?? 🙂

    The last twenty years has little to do with this year, IMO.

  17. Dr. BadgerPack 01/11/2008 at 11:35 AM #

    As far as NCAA tournament projections go, a good note is that as top-heavy as the early schedule is, the team probably couldn’t help but have a favorable record in their last 10 games if they were to finish 8-8. So I would think an 8-8 record would necessarily imply the team is not limping into the postseason.

  18. RAWFS 01/11/2008 at 11:45 AM #

    I clicked on an ad, and learned that you can get ESPN GamePlan in Mexico. That’s damned interesting.

    Yes, but you’d get tired of hearing that guy going “gooooooooooooallllllll” all game. I kid, I kid.

  19. highonlowe 01/11/2008 at 11:55 AM #

    7-9, and out of the ACCT on Saturday. Final Four in the NIT

  20. geojim1990 01/11/2008 at 11:57 AM #

    At least we haven’t dropped to the standards of St Louis … yet.


  21. TNCSU 01/11/2008 at 12:02 PM #

    Wow! From the article above, “We have some issues in terms of our offensive proficiency,” Majerus said

    That’s O-ffensive profiency, and I would say he is correct!

  22. RAWFS 01/11/2008 at 12:04 PM #

    Putting on my SFN sysadmin hat for a second…

    When the guys here ask you to click on an ad, what they are basically asking you to do is to take a second and help defray the cost of running the blog. The server, Internet bandwidth and ongoing support all cost money obviously, and until recently, it’s been coming straight out of someone’s pocket. They aren’t complaining, mind you.

    Still, you can help out a little, at no cost to you save for a minute or two of your time. For the quality of information and the great discussions that come from this site, that’s not too much to ask IMHO. Clicking an ad once in a while helps keep the site going, especially as its popularity ramps up thanks to the Alumni Magazine and word of mouth (SFN itself doesn’t advertise.)

    Just some stuff for y’all to consider.

  23. cradletograve 01/11/2008 at 12:11 PM #

    hate to do it but 7-9, 6-10 unless somehow they get some strong guard play and grant, fells and Mccauley catch fire

  24. highonlowe 01/11/2008 at 12:14 PM #

    Apparently, Lowe said the lineup of Hickson, Costner, and McCauley ain’t happening. (source: S6)
    I can’t help but wonder why one wouldn’t want the best players on the team all on the court at the same time…

    (I, for one, am clicking an ad each visit)

  25. JimValvano 01/11/2008 at 12:23 PM #

    at UNC = Loss
    at Clemson= Win
    Miami= Win
    Georgia Tech= Win
    at FSU= Loss
    at Duke= Loss
    Wake= Win
    VT= Win
    at Maryland= Loss
    at BC= Win
    Clemson= Win
    North Carolina= Win
    at Virginia= Win
    FSU= Loss
    Duke= Win
    at Wake= Loss

    (10-6) WHY???

    Point Guard: So far this season point guard has been a weak link to our offensive production. As the season progresses, while still a weak link, point guard play will improve. Most of the improvement will come from experience and confidence growth through that experience. With the increased confidence will come point guards being more comfortable pushing tempo, calling their own plays, more dribble penetration, less turnovers (no more second guessing themselves), and more aggression toward looking for their own offense.

    Coach Lowe: I don’t think we’ve even begun to see all of the things he’s implemented with this team. Remember that we still have some “junk defenses” in our pocket to throw out at other teams. Coach Lowe has done his best to keep his magic tricks a secret by not showing them to his audience more than once. You will see him use some tricks when they are needed and most of the time they will have a positive effect.

    Chemistry: The team is becoming…a team. They are learning how to play with one another, learning how to trust one another, and defining roles. As the season progresses they will have a better idea of what is expected from their teammates as well as from themselves. With this…there will be a growing comfort level and a drastic improvement in performance.

    (10-6) may be a little overly optimistic, as I can see us finishing anywhere from (6-10) to (13-3). Regardless of our overall record…I see us making the NCAA tournament by winning the ACC tournament. We will be one of the top three teams in the conference by the end of the year and we will have more to play for than the other two (Tarholes and Dookies).

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