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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Viewing 19 posts - 26 through 44 (of 44 total)
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    Buckets has ZERO reason to come back. He’s focused on his professional prospects, which makes total sense. Nothing left for him to do that would improve his stock.

    We will have more depth next season, at least. I do agree that KH will be a formidable weapon. Kid has mega-talent.


    Though I hate Duke, Coach K is probably the greatest coach in NCAA history and would love to have him as the coach of my team. Impossible to compare era’s between the the 70’s and todays game but K has taken teams with above average players and turned them into great TEAMS as Bill put it. He also has a lot of kind words to say about his late-in-life turned friend, Coach Valvano.


    I disagree that TJW has nothing to prove. This year he is still getting snubbed in the national spotlight. If he were to comeback I think it could be the difference between a mid to late first round and high first rd.

    1.21 Jigawatts

    I disagree that TJW has nothing to prove. This year he is still getting snubbed in the national spotlight. If he were to comeback I think it could be the difference between a mid to late first round and high first rd.

    The NBA doesn’t give a flip what the media thinks about players, who they promote, who they snub. They evaluate players on their own and have their own criteria for who can play. If a single team who happens to have a lottery pick believes in what they see in Warren and have a need for him then they’ll take him.

    john of sparta

    SFN with a UNX uni ad. well, ok.

    1. TJW won’t turn down NBA $. he’s that good and gone.
    2. no NCAA for us. we won’t win the tourney.
    3. how many fannies in the seats for the NIT at home?


    CUZ, at the end of day, will do what Pop tells him to do…..

    For a big majority of kids who leave college early….
    One more year on campus at a top fifty D1 school is equal to five more years and double the money over their career in the pros OR BETTER.

    Now make a list of kids you know where this might be true…
    Is CUZ on your list?

    #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.

    ^Ovies and Gold are fine by me … Most of the time their show is light-hearted. Confession bear: I actually enjoy some of Ovies’ trolling (it doesn’t come across as smug to me, but different strokes and all).

    Glenn on the other hand … oh my gawd. Narcissistic doesn’t begin to cover it. Haven’t heard him in a long time, but if he still spends entire segments on how if you don’t think like he does or if you don’t agree with him then you don’t have a brain and you live in your mom’s basement then it’s a wonder he’s still on the air. Sheep will lap up anything though I suppose.


    I did not mean to imply Ovies = Glenn. I wouldn’t do that to anyone.

    I do, however, notice a similarity in their smugness. Ovies often has an “I’m above it all and know better, anyone who see’s it differently is just a dumb biased fan w/ no valid, logic based point.”

    Maybe it’s just me. But I do admit, Ovies is much easier to tolerate, and can often be entertaining. To his credit, he’s open and honest about his trolling/snark, and he’s an equal opportunity offender.


    I am so sick of this season and the team’s inability to preserve a lead. I knew the game was doomed on the last possession. I saw it before. At least 20 times in my lifetime. UNC always has us on talent and coaching. The one person should have touched the ball on the last play of the game, got it and took it the length of the court. So why are we having a discussion about at large bids? This is embarrassing.


    I am so sick of this season and the team’s inability to preserve a lead. I knew the game was doomed on the last possession. I saw it before. At least 20 times in my lifetime. UNC always has us on talent and coaching. The one person should have touched the ball on the last play of the game, got it and took it the length of the court. So why are we having a discussion about at large bids? This is embarrassing.


    David Glenn represents his university well. An arrogant prick if there ever was one. I wonder which, Gold or Ovaries, has to use the mike after Glenn. It’s got to be dripping with spittle. I stopped listening to that show after about 4-5 days when he first got the gig. UNCheat homer. Speaking of Gold, I think he might have ovaries. What a bed wetting puss. And y’all are spot on about Ovies, trolling troll he is. They can be entertaining at times but the blatant trolling is annoying and transparent as hell. Poking the audience is not entertaining. Grow up Joe or do something else with your life. We really need a good sports talk show in this market.


    It wasn’t widely reported…but Buckets was a hair from going pro after LAST season. He REALLY wanted to.

    This season, he’s improved his outside shooting, conditioning, and strength. He has demonstrated as few weaknesses as he ever will. Thusly…he gone.

    The only thing that could really improve his pro prospects is if we started playing him at shooting guard, and he was amazing there (not gonna happen), and/or he grows another 2 inches (not gonna happen).


    ^Come on man. Lemme dream a little before you crush my hopes.

    What’s everyone’s honest opionion on how TJW can do in teh pro’s? He doesn’t have a great outside shot, he’s not the quickest guy on the court, and he’s not the strongest guy on the court. He does have a magical ability to know where the ball is going off a missed shot and putting it back up. He has a nice mid-range shot. High motor around the basket. I just don’t know how well he’ll do against bigger, stronger guys in the NBA. Will he be able to get that first step on his man and be able to get to the rim? Will he be able to bang against guys in the NBA to get that rebound and put it back up? I hope so. I don’t want him to be another Rodney Monroe. Can score all over the place in college but never can get it in the NBA.

    For full disclosure…I never watch NBA bb. I freaking hate it. So if I”m totally off base then someone can tell me so.


    ^^ Neither was it widely reported that CUZ was not at all happy playing with last year’s group of individuals…

    Pop said ‘No’.

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

    Would love to see TJ back for another year but dont think it will happen. The scouts draft on potential, and frankly, TJ is a very good college player but I am not sure what he has at the next level. He is not big enough for a 4 and not skilled enough from the outside or quick enough for a 3 perimeter player.

    What do I know about what NBA scouts think? Admittedly nothing, but I cant help but think another year posting monster stats (I know stats contradict what I just said about potential) can only help TJ to maybe show more potential. But yes, I fear he is gone.


    I don’t think TJW benefits at all from staying longer. He’s leading the league in scoring and is seventh in rebounding. Another year won’t change that.

    From the NBA’s perspective, I think that the value of success at the college level is just so they notice him. If State is better next year, that won’t help his draft stock at all. They know who he is, and what he can do.

    Will his skills improve noticabley from another year in school? Not likely. He just had a better opportunity to show them this year, more time on the court, more important role on the team.

    However, who is going pro at the same time could affect his NBA draft status. Unfortunately, being 6’8″ and 215, he’s a common size. A quick look at the projected top 20 this year (which does not include TJ) shows 6 guys at 6’8″ and one at 6’9″. That’s a third of the top 20, probably not uncommon.

    And there is always the risk of injury in college, while you are playing for free.

    We’d be crazy to not wish he’d stay, but I can’t see any reason why he would.


    I’ll break this down the Drew Hughes way.


    Our problem remains the lack of wins against good opponents, since we remain o-fer against the top 50. Beat Pitt? Great – they’re dropping out of the top 50 as soon as we beat them.

    Face it – a team that doesn’t win a game against good competition isn’t going to the tournament. Not happening. No how, no way.

    So I’m pretty close to Ovies here – winning the next three doesn’t do it. Winning a meaningless Thursday game does nothing. Winning one Friday game doesn’t do it – still gives us just one good win, and it could be a fluke. Beat two of the top four teams in the league on back-to-back days? We at least have a shot.

    But I think we need to win out. We’ve just got zero resume right now.


    10-8 + Friday win does it, I think – solely because of the weak bubble. Or 9-9 + Saturday win.

    It’s all academic, though – as I don’t see either scenario happening (ie, less than 10% chance, closer to 5%).

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