The NCAA selection committee released its top 16 teams on Sunday, which is not directly relevant to NC State, but it does offer perspective on the committee’s thinking, and that’s important.
Under the new quadrant system for evaluating teams, here is how they stack up (UVA is the No. 1 overall seed):
South (Atlanta): (1) Virginia, (2) Cincinnati, (3) Michigan St., (4) Tennessee
East (Boston): (1) Villanova, (2) Duke, (3) Texas Tech, (4) Ohio State
Midwest (Omaha): (1) Xavier, (2) Auburn, (3) Clemson, (4) Oklahoma
West (Los Angeles): (1) Purdue, (2) Kansas, (3) North Carolina, (4) Arizona
(teams NC State has beaten are in bold)
If Kansas’ placement as the No. 6 overall team in the field is an indicator that the committee will heavily weight the quadrant system, that’s good news for NC State. The Pack’s non-conference schedule strength is terrible but State obviously isn’t lacking for top-line wins—it has four against the NCAA’s top 16 teams. One was on a neutral floor and another was on the road, which also helps.
NC State would much rather have the emphasis on those quadrant-one wins rather than its 281st-ranked non-conference schedule. We’ll just have to hope that this is how the committee will be prioritizing things. Gonna need a few more wins for any of it to matter, though.