After all the back and forth discussions for months, the 2019-2020 regular season has ended, and the field for the tournament that really matters has been set.
For the second time in three years, NC State has secured the fifth seed in the ACC Tournament. Wolfpack fans should thank Georgia Tech for dropping their appeal and accepting their postseason ban. The surprisingly resilient Yellow Jackets would have been the fifth seed, but will now get to enjoy an early summer, thinking about all that stuff that Josh Pastner (allegedly) did.
The Pack can also send a drink over to Miami’s table, thanking them for fending off Syracuse in overtime. They did what they could to give the game away in regulation, but made enough plays and free throws in OT to seal the deal. An Orange win would have dropped NC State down to the sixth seed, and that side of the bracket has, well.. take a look:
Had Miami not won, NC State would have played the winner of UNC’s game. UNC was locked into the 11vs14 matchup regardless, beating Duke would have just flip flopped their seed, bumping Pitt to the 14 spot. Meanwhile, State likely needs one more win to make their NCAA tournament at-large bid closer to reality.. and that one game very easily could have come against the Heels.
But that didn’t happen, so happy thoughts! NC State has beaten both of the teams for its matchup, so that bodes well, right? Virginia beat Louisville, so we should take a moment to acknowledge Tony Bennet taking the leftovers from last year’s championship team to finish with the two seed in the ACC. Had UVA lost, it could have set up a more favorable quarterfinal matchup for NC State. As it stands, if State is able to beat the winner of Wake Forest and Pitt, they will get the honor of playing Duke. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, just focus on the first game and hope that’s enough to get past all the bracketologists. Sometimes I envy Joe Lunardi, because you get to be wrong a staggering percentage of the time, yet people hang on every new edition of your fake bracket. But then I see how every new update brings a wave of fans yelling at him for how wrong he is because he personally insulted their mothers and their teams too I guess, or maybe their mother’s teams, not sure, it’s hard to pick through the comments. That doesn’t seem like much fun.
It also won’t be any fun if Utah State ends up being a bid thief for NC State since they beat San Diego State for MWC championship. But not gonna lie, they looked good doing it. Something is also happening with Rutgers, I’m not sure what it is but it’s quite confusing. The Big Ten is such a weird conference. They have seven ranked teams, Wisconsin being the lowest at 24th.. yet they’re at the top of the standings. Makes sense, boss.
I’m hoping that Wisconsin winning the Big Ten regular season is more helpful for NC State than last year’s Auburn win was. And surprisingly, State fans have Buzzcut Brad freaking Davison to thank today, as he hit some clutch shots to beat Indiana and secure the top seed in their conference tournament. Their win also hurt Indiana’s bubble chances, something Archie Miller is super thrilled about. This probably wouldn’t be a good time to tell him how well Dayton is doing after he left for a “bigger” program than NC State. Not bitter. Relieved.
In other news, FSU has finished first in the ACC for the first time in program history. We often overlook that Leonard Hamilton has been at FSU since 2003, and built up a great program at a place with next to zero expectations for basketball success. Much respect to him for having someone other than Duke or Carolina sitting atop the conference.
NC State plays at 2:00pm, March 11.
The full schedule can be found here.