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).

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 NCS Basketball Stat of the Day

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

  1. Garrett 01/11/2008 at 8:03 PM #

    I’m thinking this is a great time for my first post. With all the relative struggles this team has had against lower quality opponents, I still believe we can and should finish around 9-7 and be in place to dance in march.

    We have played really well at times against major conf. teams (besides the mich st. massacre) and the ACC is simply cluttered in the middle. I believe Sidney will get the boys up for the ACC and we’ll be between 4th and 6th place. MARCH MATTERS..keep that in mind.

    Maybe I’m a little optimistic, but I think we’ll end up as a solid team with some potential for march success. Let’s hope the injuries subside rather quickly and we give the heels a scare tomorrow..GO PACK!!

  2. redfred2 01/11/2008 at 9:42 PM #

    wufpaxno1, that was an inspirational post. I needed that. Thanks!

    I may haved sounded really pessimistic lately, but I do have $100.00 riding on the WOLFPACK tommorrow. Call that optimistic, call me a true fan, or call me dumb as as telephone pole, but I thought hard about it, and I didn’t draw one cent out of the bank this afternoon.

  3. JeremyH 01/11/2008 at 11:01 PM #

    as long as they show they have been progressing through practice and give 100% effort, I don’t much care the outcome. just would like to see them break out of this lackluster funk worth of effort we have seen relatively frequently.

  4. travelwolf 01/12/2008 at 1:59 AM #

    i’m betting we’ll go 7-9, with that likely to be on the negative side – mainly because i think lowe will pull some trick out of his hat to help us win a few games. i think we’ll all be able to make a much better prediction tomorrow late afternoon. this isn’t the same team that played villanova or seton hall. we’ve got the best front court with one of the worst back courts. should be interesting. will someone besides costner and fells figure out how to shoot the 3? will hickson learn how to pass out of a double team (will McCauley teach him)? will our new point guards stop turning the ball over?

    at least it will be interesting – i’m looking forward to it. there is room for lots of improvement in the next 2 months. should be fun even if we lose some.

  5. PapaJohn 01/12/2008 at 7:48 AM #

    Man this is tough because we don’t know who to rely on for scoring. JJ will get his double digits, but everyone else has been hot & cold all year. Sid doesn’t seem to be worried about scoring, but I sure am.
    Based on history – the Pack NEVER EVER does anything easy, so we will not be a lock for the NCAAT come the end of the season. No way. So based on that, I see us at about 18 wins going into the ACCT, meaning 7-9 in the conference. We will be notorius as ‘the team that didn’t live up to expectations.’
    Based on our maturity as a team – I see us blowing some of those games we ‘have to win’ and driving the Wolfpack nation to the ledge. But then late in the season when the defense is even better (and we are much better now defensively than same time last year) and they’ve figured out the offense, we’ll win some we shouldn’t. In my mind that puts us at 8-8. Still not comfortable going into the ACCT.
    Coaching factor – I think Sid is improving and we will see more evidince of his coaching ability this year. I think we will see some horrible first halves that are saved by half time adjustments resulting in wins. We’ve got the talent. If he can get them working to the best of their ability, we’ll still struggle a lot, but go 9-7.

    In either of these scenarios, I see us winning enough in the ACCT tourney to slip in the door to the dance. But we won’t survive the first weekend because we’ll be too satisfied with just being there.
    GO PACK!!

  6. Astral Rain 01/12/2008 at 8:10 AM #

    Honestly I see 7-9, win the 8-9 game in the ACC tourney, lose to Carolina in OT Friday, end up top seed in the NIT.

  7. 1.21 Jigawatts 01/12/2008 at 9:03 AM #

    I think PapaJohn (and others) makes a great point about this team losing a couple of games we ‘have to win’, we’ve seen it over and over again for years (and not just from NC State, only Duke and UNX seem to take care of the mid to lower tier teams consistantly). We also seem to have a way of winning when people say we have no chance, especially with Lowe running the program.

    From what I’ve seen since Lowe arrived is that he makes great adjustments in game and during halftime plus this years team appears to shoot better in the second half. With that said I feel that our record will depend greatly on the halftime score. As long as State isn’t down by more than 10 points at the half I feel that we’ll win 75% of our games (exceptions being UNX and Duke), especially since we’ve had a lot of games that were close at the end and know what we need to do to win.

    Looking over the schedule I see an 8-8 record (+/- a win). The reasoning being our inexperience at PG and our lack of outside shooting. Point Guard play should get better as the season progresses, I’m just not so sure about 3pt%, it’ll be streaky at best. We’ll struggle early with such a tough schedule and so many road games but will get better during the second half. If Degand hadn’t been lost for the year I’d say we would have finished at 10-6 but now we’ve been set back those 10 games Degand was playing.

  8. PackGirl 01/12/2008 at 9:07 AM #

    I don’t expect we have much chance at a win today, but I will be happy enough if JJ matches up well against Handsblow. There are some interesting comments by Lowe in the N&O today in reference to Handsblow:

    “When he’s going to the basket he’s got this thing [where] he knows how to get fouled and how to draw attention to himself to get the foul,” NCSU coach Sidney Lowe said Friday.

    [That “thing” is referee bias combined with flopping.]

    “He has that look,” Lowe said.

    [That “look” is called deer in the headlights.]

  9. highstick 01/12/2008 at 12:01 PM #

    It’s called “Roid Rage”! I’m just not sure if it’s steroids or hemmoroids”!

Leave a Reply