One Week Left

We have one week (and a couple of days) until the end of the regular season.   I would have waited until Monday for the last regular-season update, but I didn’t want to put this up on the same day as jigawatt’s game preview.   After last night, I don’t have much energy for lengthy intros.  So let’s move to the charts.

General Note:  The RPI range of 35-45 is shown on both graphs.

2-27 IN


SYR vs UVA for first place highlights the weekend match-ups.   Regardless of what happens on Sat, Bennett will get a lot of votes for COY.   A UVA win would likely make the voting academic.

After Sat’s game, Virginia has 8 days off and then the regular season finale at Maryland.   This break should give UVA time to get the SYR game out of their system (good or bad).   I expect that UMD will be fired up for their last ACC game in College Park and for senior day.   Of course, UMD’s next big win will also be their first of the season.

After Sat, Syracuse gets GT at home and will finish the year at FSU.     If FSU takes care of business next week against several teams from ACCT Wed, then that last game of the year could prove interesting.

Duke and UNC will mark time until their rematch in Durham (probably for 3rd place).   Duke gets the weekend off, and then a short trip to WF midweek.    UNC travels to VT, home against ND, and then the big finish against Duke.

Let’s interrupt our update for a trivia quiz on ACC Coaching.   Who do you think of when you look down the following list?

  • OOC SOS ranked 200+
  • Horrible record against the RPI Top 50
  • Provides no competition to the top of the conference
  • Mostly mops up against bottom 2/3 of the conference

If you said Jamie Dixon, then you win the kewpie doll.   If you were thinking of Herb, then here’s a graph that tracks another similarity between the two coaches.


Pitt plays @ND this weekend, Monday night at home against State, and then finishes the regular season at Clemson.   Much like the SYR/FSU game, Pitt’s last game of the year might be an interesting one.   (Hopefully, the last two are interesting.)



2-27 Bubble

Based on comments from previous entries, there is obviously some confusion about the RPI ranges and what they mean.   The ranges are really just screening criteria that point us towards the teams that deserve a closer look.   From a historical standpoint, 90+% of the at-large bids will have RPI Rankings of 55 or higher.

Clemson is clearly their own worst enemy.     Start with an absolutely horrid OOC schedule and throw in a list of bad to horrible road losses (#69 Arkansas, #97 WF, #115 ND, and #158 Auburn), then you end up on the far backside of the bubble even with a  winning ACC record.   Note that the two bad ACC losses were over the last two weeks…when bubble teams need to be cleaning up against the bottom of their own conference.

Clemson is obviously much better at home than on the road and luckily for the Tiggers, they end the regular season with a three-game home stand against UMD, Miami and then Pitt.   The interesting point of discussion is whether or not three regular season wins along with their win against Duke would be enough for the NCAAT without a win on Friday in the ACCT.

FSU got to rest this week after their big win against Pitt last Sunday.     GT at home, on the road against BC, and then they finish the year at home against SYR.   I don’t know if FSU can pull it off, but they haven’t squandered all of their chances just yet.   3-0 and they’re in the Big Dance.

UMD has no top-50 wins and is still hanging around on the bubble graph by their fingernails.   (This graph might the only place you can find “UMD” and “Bubble” in close proximity.)   They travel to Clemson over the weekend and end their final ACC regular season against the two Virginia teams.


With three teams tied for 7th place at 7-8, it’s worth looking to see what it would take for any of them to drop to Wed.

ND sits at 6-10 with games left against Pitt at home and @UNC.   So ND needs a big upset and also hope that at least one of the teams in 7th place lose out to force someone to break out the tiebreaker rules.

WF is 5-10 with BC and Duke at home and they end the year at UM.    Miami is also at 5-10 with road games against State and Clemson, then home against WF.   So both of these teams need two wins and at least one of the 7th place teams to lose out to force a tie.

Much like the bubble teams, there are mathematical possibilities left for one of these three to move up (or at least go to a tiebreaker).   But possible and probable are completely different things.



ESPN has made Joe Lunardi a household name for college basketball fans.    But it’s hard for me to take anyone seriously that releases a bracket for next year the day after this year’s championship game.   On the other extreme, I’ve mentioned The Dance Card many times.  The Dance Card is especially good for evaluating bubble teams beyond “the first four out” and gets my solid recommendation.

I hate going to because they seem to be the epicenter of the State-baiters universe.    I cuss anytime someone posts a link without ample warning and I open something by Doyel, Parrish, Goodman, or Davis. I would bet money that Doyel the Head Troll has passed onto his co-workers that the key to many mouse clicks is to chum the internet waters looking for gullible State fans.

But buried among the rubbish at CBS is the one bracket expert worth my time to read…Jerry Palm (formerly of    Palm has “simplified” his blog since moving to CBS, which should broaden his appeal to the casual fan.    By simplified, I mean that he doesn’t go as deep into the numbers and methodology behind his picks at CBS as he did at    Anyone that explains the differences that he found with the official NCAA calculations and his own has earned my respect for thoroughness, desire for accuracy, and transparency. (Some things he got the NCAA to correct and the rest he had to change so that his calculations match the NCAA’s.)   So Jerry Palm gets my highest recommendation along with The Dance Card.




Now after that lengthy introduction, I want to point a certain portion of the NC State fan base towards a recent article that Palm did on the NCAAT Selection Process.


The opening sentence is especially enlightening:

I had the pleasure of attending my fourth NCAA media mock selection committee meeting in Indianapolis the last couple of days and we were given an inside look at the processes and procedures the real committee goes through to select, seed and bracket the field.

The point here is that over the last several years, the NCAA has made an effort to explain their selection process to the media to overcome the annual claims of bias and back-room deals.   Of course no theoretical exercise is going to mean that everyone will agree with their final selections.   But once you understand the process, you can generally figure out why the Committee picked a, b, and c and didn’t pick x, y, and z.   An occasional head-scratcher doesn’t prove that there was some sordid conspiracy.

While I’m talking to the tin-hat folks, I want to address the annual claims of bias by the NCAA (or CBS or ESPN) that would always favor the Blues because of “finances”.      This claim (made every year including this one) is absurd for several different reasons.   First, the money that the NCAA will receive is set by contract for many years at a time.   The NCAAT is a national event and most of the spectators (and thus eyeballs in front of TV sets) couldn’t care less about either Duke or UNC.   Bottom line: there is no financial penalty or advantage for the NCAA to favor any given school in the selection or seeding process.

Finally, the NCAA Selection Committee is made up of athletic directors and conference commissioners from around the country…not some nameless, faceless group of bozos from the NCAA basement in Indianapolis.   What possible motive would they have to bias their decisions based solely on a school’s reputation as opposed to the team’s actual performance THIS year?

Scanning back to the start of this section just earned a “WOW”.   That certainly turned into a longer rabbit trail than I had planned.    Let’s move on to the most important part of Palm’s article for the majority of State fans:

I would say that our committee was unanimous in that it was very difficult to find 36 worthy at-large teams.

This statement is important because it means that any bubble team that takes some big, positive steps forward can move ahead of the rest of the rabble.    There is no doubt that State still has some possibilities left…but ability is a completely different issue.


In the real pic, Mr Wolf is holding up one finger (not the middle one) and thus tied in nicely with my title.   However, he is being cropped by WordPress and I can’t figure out why.  Down-sizing him three times didn’t change anything and I’m giving up.

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

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    We have one week (and a couple of days) until the end of the regular season.  
    [See the full post at: One Week Left]


    Good analysis. I think if we win the last 3 and at least one in the ACC tournament, we’re in. Let’s get it done.

    A lot of the power conferences are weak this year. There are bids up for grabs, particularly due to the consolidated leagues.


    Does anyone else smell a strong finish and good run in the ACC tourney all to end up just short and get a high NIT seed? We’ve been there before and heading down the same road.


    at least one in the ACC tournament, we’re in.

    Thursday losses are horrible, but Thursday wins are virtually meaningless.


    Obviously, Va knows lightyears more than I when it comes to tourney selection but I would venture to say that we need to win the next three, make a run to the ACC chamionship game and have a good showing there before even having a chance to sniff the NCAA.

    What do you think Va?


    I wouldn’t bet my house on it, but I’m hoping that 2-1 (demoralized loss to UM followed by a win @Pitt and BC) and a Friday win would be enough. Less than that will surely not be enough.


    Does anyone else smell a strong finish and good run in the ACC tourney all to end up just short and get a high NIT seed?

    No. A run to the ACCT championship game (while unlikely) would be enough this year. State just had too many losses in Sid’s first year for anything less than the conference championship to get in.


    But, but, but, but Joe Ovies said we are out after last night’s loss and short of winning the ACC tourney we are not going. He knows everything VA82. I don’t know who to trust anymore.

    Pfft that Ovies is a REAL tool. I wish he had stayed in Miami and was their alumni.


    Thank goodness it is almost over. This has been the most frustrating Men’s BBall team to watch in a long while-more so then last year. They have out worked just about everyone this season but keep inventing ways to piss themselves with under a minute to go. We could put in the scrubs under a minute to go in any game and get the same result 9 out of 10 times. I’ve never seen a team so afraid of winning before.


    I’m surprised. More optimism here than I expected. Certainly more than I have.

    I would love to see our guys get rewarded for a pretty good year.
    We lost a whole team at the end of last year. Four of those guys are getting paid to play basketball this year. (and maybe five – I’m looking at you, UConn)

    Very quick, simplistic comparisons – assuming we win out: (BIG assumption)

    Overall regular season record: 22/9 versus 20/11
    ACC record: 11/7 versus 10/8
    Road wins: 3 ACC road, 2 neutral versus 4 ACC road, 2 OOC road
    Scoring: 77.4 pts / 70.2 points allowed versus 70.9 pts / 69.5 allowed

    The point being, this could have been a train wreck year – and it wasn’t.


    I’m not seeing it. We are big 0-8 vs the RPI top 50. We have zero wins of any consequence and versus the top 4 in our conference we are 0-5 with two of those being blowouts and two being games in which we had the lead with under 10 seconds left. I feel bad because this team has come within a few “only in the ACC” type calls of being a lock. But if I saw a team with our record get in, I would think it was ridiculous. I don’t see us making the dance unless we win the ACCT.


    GoWolves – TOTALLY agree with you on Ovies and the other guy (the one that yells everything and can’t say a sentence without the word UH in it) on their show.
    Just a terrible show. Stopped listening not long after they started, as soon as I realized they have no knowledge, just attitude, and only say stuff to get phone callers. Very amateurish.


    But if I saw a team with our record get in, I would think it was ridiculous.

    So would anyone that bothered to look. However, absolutely no one is talking about getting in with the current record.

    I’m not seeing it. We are big 0-8 vs the RPI top 50. We have zero wins of any consequence and versus the top 4 in our conference we are 0-5

    Pitt is IN on every bracket that I’ve looked at. They are 1-6 vs RPI Top 50 (win against #40 Stanford) and are also 0-5 against the Top 4 in the ACC.


    ^I actually like listening to Adam Gold. He seems pretty fair minded IMHO. Ovies, he just seems to regurgitate what other people say and try to make comments just to get a reaction. But even he I can listen to without much problem. It’s David Glenn that totally pisses me off.


    I’m surprised. More optimism here than I expected. Certainly more than I have.

    I don’t have much optimism either. But it doesn’t take any at all to say “This is what they have to do.”

    Optimism would be “I think that they will make it in.”


    The only way I see State in the NCAAT is for them to win the ACCT. It is illogical to think that State could close out Miami, Pitt and BC and then win one in the ACCT, and be invited to the NCAAT on that. Beating a .500 team and a 7-win team at home, plus beating a team on the road that this column puts on the bubble won’t exactly enhance the Wolfpack in the eyes of the NCAAT Selection Committee.

    In fact, not only will it be NIT, but there’s a good probability we could be on the road if selected.

    I’m got LTR seats, but several years ago I bought my last NIT ticket. I am absolutely done with patronizing mediocrity. I know I’m going to get hammered by the OH, QUIT WHINING- THEY’RE JUST A YOUNG TEAM, GIVE THEM MORE TIME crowd. Whatever.

    This basketball program needs not only wholesale changes, but I now believe that our athletic program needs a complete housecleaning, from the top down, with exploration of how we can get out of this miserable league and into a conference where we’d be a valued member instead of cannon fodder for a few select teams who will continue to receive preferred status in everything from scheduling to officiating.


    Note that this column absolutely does not put Pitt on the bubble. They are in by every projection that I’ve seen. (But that would quickly change with a few more losses.)

    As I said just below the bubble graph, the ranges are screening criteria based on historical data. They are not intended to be an absolute judgement.



    1. We will play the Holes in the Tournament… We WILL win that game.

    2. CUZ will be back in Raleigh next season…
    as one of the TEAM leaders on a TEAM with something to prove…

    3. And so will a new and improved ANTHONY….
    who miraculously learns how to play point guard over the off season.

    4. And so will Coach LUTZ…. who doesn’t take his own gig…

    5. Our kids finish this season with momentum, energy and enthusiasm…

    If that means a NIT championship… then that’s ok with me….
    Regardless… they have a lot to be proud of with respect to their accomplishments as a TEAM this season and all that needs to carry over to next year…. Let’s put the days of two steps forward and one step backwards behind us for good.

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

    More optimism….

    1. Coach Rat retires…

    2. Uncle Roy sticks around for one more ‘exhausting’ season babysitting the cheaters and goes 0 for four against the Pack… counting the Pack victory over the Holes in the 2014 tournament…

    3. Swofford retires… and writes a tell-all book that once and for all …
    that documents the nonsense of the ‘referee conspiracy’… by proving, beyond a shadow of anyone’s doubt, that the whole thing was a twenty five year ‘deal’ … started and financed by B.Poulton,…

    The ensuing lawsuits result in reparations to NCState in the amount of $100,000,000 which the Wolfpack Club uses to tear down the RBC/PNC and to build a real basketball gym where Haralson Hall is or used to be….

    4. Rick gets a new job making three times his current salary working near PackerInRussia… GMT +9… and can’t post for ten hours straight after games anymore….

    5. The Twerps re-nig on their BIG10 deal…. so we can keep kicking their a$$es….

    6. The NCAA has their doors closed forever as a result of the *NC academic scandal….

    7. NCState Football goes 8-4 in 2014-15….

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

    Are Ovies and Glenn related, maybe old classmates or something? He did spend time in Miami, after all. Though it manifests itself differently in each tool, there’s a strong similarity to their “I’m the smartest man in the room” smugness.


    CUZ will be back in Raleigh next season…
    as one of the TEAM leaders on a TEAM with something to prove…

    Huh?… So you know something we don’t? Or are you just getting back from Colorado?


    Careful bill, you’ll wind up in the loony bin if people hear you talking like that.


    Coach Rat retires…

    Though I’m no Duke fan, I fear an ACC w/o Coach Rat hurts us all. Unlike Roy, I have buku respect for both Coach K and Mike Krzyzewski. I may often dislike Coach K, but he has my respect.


    Bill.onthebeach – Please let us all know where we can get some of what you are drinking / smoking / whatever. Sounds like killer stuff.


    PapaWolf …

    all natural ingredients….
    mix one part total frustration, one part imagination and one part history…
    shaken not stirred…
    with a twist of wolfpackred…
    let it sit until motionless…

    serve straight up…

    enjoy with friends…

    Besides… Wolf82 asked for optimism, not ‘shine from the footballs of the Commonwealth… right ??

    Plenty of stuff on that “Twelve Days of Christmas for WolfPack fans everywhere” list above….

    Let us know what your personal favorite is and maybe we can put that up on….
    We aim to please….


    Note… player/personnel rumors are inevitable…
    so we might as well start some good ones…
    Who knows what difference they might make.

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!
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