0–4 Out of Conference puts Pack in a bind

In the previous four years of Sidney Lowe’s guidance, NC State’s Basketball team has proven an ability to win tough out of conference games whether played in the RBC Center or on the road –  Villanova, Cincinnati, Davidson, Seton Hall, Marquette, others.   Unfortunately…that didn’t happen for the Wolfpack this year and we now find ourselves in a competitive position that some could describe as ‘behind the 8-ball’ or even as bad as ‘up the creek’.

I recognize that the quality of your wins is a major factor in NCAA Tournament invitations and seeding.  But before the season began I carved away some specifics and took a  general look at the Wolfpack’s Basketball Schedule. 

With 30 games on the schedule before the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, the Wolfpack plays 14 out of conference games because of the three tournament games in the Charleston Classic.  “EYEBALLING” the schedule, one would think that 20 regular season wins would be a recipe for an almost guaranteed spot in the NCAA Tournament; with 18 pre-ACC Tournament wins serving to place the Wolfpack on the weaker side of the proverbial NCAA Tournament bubble.  Now that we know that the ACC is weaker than we had originally hoped, I don’t think 18 wins could get the Wolfpack into the big dance unless we performed decently well against our four decent out of conference opponents — Cue Captain Obvious – we didn’t.

As you can see from the table below



Let’s presume for a moment that Wolfpack could (miraculously) achieve an 8-8 record against one of the more difficult ACC schedule’s and use this as a foundation of our an assumption set.  (Obviously, any conference performance that varies from this peg will play a role in impacting NC State’s NCAA Tournament resume.)   This would mean State would needed to generate a minimum of an 11-3 record against non-conference opponents to ‘be  the discussion’ in March.  A 12-2 record against the 7th toughest OOC schedule in America coupled with an 8-8 ACC record would have appeared to create safe haven and probable Top 8 NCAA Tournament regional seed for the Wolfpack.  That isn’t going to happen.

  • As you can see from the table, NC State has ten OOC match-ups that are ‘hold serve games’ and should result in wins.  Any stumbles against these foes, ala East Carolina a couple of years ago, could be deadly for the Wolfpack’s season (and could intellectually be argued to be deadly to Sidney Lowe’s coaching career as you extrapolate the potential impact of such a loss to the Wolfpack’s season).

  • This leaves four ‘swing games’ that will play a defining role in the Wolfpack’s quest for success this season.  We have highlighted those four games in the table above – Georgetown, @ Wisconsin, @ Syracuse, and Arizona.  As we now know…the Wolfpack whiffed on this and now are in a lot of trouble.

  • Just a single victory against that^ subset of opponents was an absolute must and would have gotten the Wolfpack to a minimum of 11-3 to be on squeeking onto the NCAA Tournament bubble with an 8-8 record in the ACC. 

As I see it today, a 9-7 record in the ACC is a necessary to fit ourselves squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

As most everyone sees it today, based on our our uninspired play to this point of the season, that scenario is shaping up to be a pipedream.

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10-11 Basketball Sidney Lowe

108 Responses to 0–4 Out of Conference puts Pack in a bind

  1. packfan03 12/21/2010 at 12:41 PM #

    Just like AD’s would want to win with their coaches, you’d think coaches would want to win with their players. I realize Lowe recruited Javi, but only the most myopic individual would think Javi was hand-selected because he was a great fit for Lowe’s system. We needed a PG, Javi was still available (i.e. not being recruited heavily by any name program outside of us and LSU). Javi has gotten better, but he still doesn’t have what it takes to be a high-performing ACC player. It wouldn’t matter who was coaching him.

    Harrow, on the other hand, has a chance. Start the kid, win or lose with your prized recruits.

    ^As I recall, the only reason the lead was down to four was because of the play of Harrow.

  2. MP 12/21/2010 at 1:11 PM #

    “Lowe’s system”???

    Seriously… The reason why people are already giving up on the season is not that we have lost 4 games already – it’s that there IS NO SYSTEM.

  3. packfan03 12/21/2010 at 1:15 PM #

    Obviously Lowe is done if he doesn’t win this year – and I fully support that decision. I just think, as a fan, Harrow provides him the only chance to succeed.

    Javi is a known commodity, and what we know, is that he isn’t an ACC starter.

  4. Rick 12/21/2010 at 3:57 PM #

    “Javi is a known commodity, and what we know, is that he isn’t an ACC starter.”

    I think we proper coaching and development he could have been a solid starter. How many times have you seen some mid major senior guard tear up a good team because he knew what he was doing?

  5. 61Packer 12/21/2010 at 4:41 PM #

    All this talk about Low quitting makes me laugh. He AIN’T gonna quit, so you’d better look to the AD to relieve you of this sorry state of affairs.

  6. Prowling Woofie 12/22/2010 at 9:36 AM #

    Dear Sid,

    Bench Javi, let Harrow and Brown run the team for 40 minutes, and keep your foot on the gas all the way tonight. What this team needs is to completely blow someone – ANYONE – off the court to build some confidence. RUN, RUN, RUN…

  7. Baccapacker 12/22/2010 at 4:56 PM #

    I wonder how hard it would be to get Frank Martin from Kansas State? I don’t follow them very hard but he always has a solid team. They were ranked 11 before they lost last night without two of their best players. He’s also a tough no B.S. kind of guy that would that would probably be able to compete well in the acc and get a lot out of our roster, especially with the drop off the league is going threw right now. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

  8. tuckerdorm1983 12/22/2010 at 5:46 PM #

    patience is all that is needed here. Give the coach some more time. WTNY is what we need to do WTNY

    WTNY= wait til next year

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