Being an optimist in this case, I can see a view where N. C. State's women's basketball has a shot, a long shot, but a shot at the NCAA's. It all begins at Boston College tomorrow night. If the team loses its basically over as we currently feel that it is, and Harper may want to find a new job to keep from having the stigma of being dismissed on her resume. However, if the team wins this game, which they can, it could be the start of a good run. State currently stands at 2 and 7 in the conference. The teams current RPI is 98 and their current SOS is 40 all via Warren Nolans. The team is unfortunately 0-7 against top 50 teams, but is 3 and 2 against teams 51-100.
After Boston College, State plays Wake Forest at home and Clemson at home. Again, these games are very winnable for a team that has been underachieving. If State wins these three games their record will be 5 and 7 in conference, and they will be on a five game winning streak. State's optimistic goal at this point will be to finish 9 and 9 in the conference. After playing Clemson on February 10th, State will have six remaining games of which three are on the road and three are at home. The home games will be against Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia. State can win these games, and they can beat Clemson on the road. The other two road games will be at Florida State, currently fourth in the conference and North Carolina currently third in the conference. Realistically, I do not see State beating FSU on the road, but since the game at UNC is a rival game, and since State beat UNC on the road in 2010, they have a shot there. I still look at this as a loss. If State wins the games I feel that it can, and loses the games I feel that it will, State will finish 9 and 9 in conference. At that point we can take a really close look at the team's RPI and SOS to see if the team is close to being a bubble team.
In 2009-2010 State went on a similar run finishing 7 and 7 in conference and making the NCAA tournament by advancing to the ACC tournament finals. If State finishes 9 and 9 in conference, they again will need to advance to the ACC tournament finals to have a realistic shot at the NCAA tournament. In the current conference standings the top four teams are Duke, Maryland, UNC and FSU. State cannot beat Maryland, so they need to stay away from their bracket or hope Maryland loses early in the tournament. As to Duke, UNC and FSU, I attended the games against Duke and UNC and watched the game against FSU. State can beat these teams. Each game was close with State folding at the end. Against Duke, the score was Duke 50-47 with about six minutes left. Against UNC, the score was tied at 58-58 with about three minutes left. Finally, against FSU, State led 70-64 with less than five minutes left.
Do the above and Miss Kellie saves her job, that is, if she is in danger of losing it as most think.
Yea, its all a reach, but its all we have at this time.