State was in the top 15-20 early on with the toughest rated schedule in the country at the time, and I thought that start might be enough to keep the team within shouting distance of the top 50 even with a winless run through our tough non-conference games. Yeah, not so much. SOS is down to 157th according to College RPI. With Elon and Wake Forest on the horizon, the situation is not about to improve.
As it stands now, there are four ACC teams in the top 50 (top 30, actually)--Duke, Carolina, BC, Miami--and we have a total of six games against those teams. Virginia Tech and Florida State both could work their way into the top 50, but Boston College and Miami could just as easily slide out. The point is that our opportunities for quality Ws in the eyes of the tournament committee are severely limited going forward. If George Mason can move up a bit and stay there (they're sitting at #56), that would help some. No matter what, though, that's our best non-conference win. We really, really needed that win at Syracuse.
I'm getting way ahead of myself since there's a good chance the team finishes below .500 in league play and thus does not even play its way into the discussion. But let's say they do win enough to get into the discussion...are 10 wins and an ACC tournament win enough? Is that the minimum requirement at this point? Looks that way to me.
Something else to ponder: if the Pack wins eight or nine games but misses the NCAA tournament, has Sid demonstrated enough improvement for you to sign off on a sixth season?