March 4, 2012; Blacksburg, VA, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward Scott Wood (15) shoots the ball over Virginia Tech Hokies guard Dorenzo Hudson (5) during the second half at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-US PRESSWIRE
We knew State had work to do even if the team prevailed on Sunday, and unfortunately, the NCAA bracket experts--which is to say the guys who somehow get paid for guessing about the last 10 teams to make the tournament, which pretty much anyone could do to the same accuracy level they boast about--seem to agree with the whole reality of the situation.
In Jerry Palm's late Sunday night update, State was among his first four teams left out of the tournament. He has Miami among the last four in, along with Colorado State, South Florida, and California.
Joe Lunardi also has NC State among the first four left out of the NCAAs, because he is a cruel, cruel man whose hobbies include cruelty. Lunardi at least has the sense to put Miami behind the Pack in the pecking order, and there is some serious disagreement between the two gurus on Tennessee.
The Cuonzos are nowhere to be found in Palm's projections, either in the tournament or on the fringe, while Lunardi lists them among the first four left out. They have some good resume wins--four against the top 50--but they also have several bad losses and the RPI is not so good. Nor is the overall record. Or the colors, children, the colors. So that'll be an interesting situation to watch.
In the good news department, neither Iona nor Middle Tennessee rate ahead of NC State in the estimation of Lunardi and Palm. They're mid-majors with decent at-large resumes that lost in their respective conference tournaments, and they'll probably be in the discussion come Selection Sunday, but at least based on this it doesn't look like they're a threat to steal a bid from us.