After a four-game losing streak in early April, NC State appeared to right the ship with a nice five-game winning streak that included topping in-state foes UNCW and Davidson (who have a combined record of 47-29 this year) and a sweep of ACC division rival Florida State (their record... not so hot).
Those feel-good vibes came to a truck-hitting-a-bollard stop after State was swept at home by Clemson over the weekend.
The Wolfpack’s postseason hopes were also damaged significantly, but thankfully not nearly to the level of that truck. Still, despite the slow start to conference play, State had an RPI in the Top 15 of the country for eight straight weeks, six of which had the Pack in the Top 10 in RPI. Maintain an RPI that high and all State would have to do is just finish somewhat close to .500 in conference play to earn a regional bid.
Things were looking good for the Pack after the sweep of FSU, sitting at 8-9 in ACC play and an RPI of 8.
State’s RPI now sits at #29 with the team at 8-12 in conference.
No, it’s not time to panic yet, but the NCAA Selection Committee left State out of the field of 64 last year when the Wolfpack had an RPI of 33.
The good news is that the Pack still have opportunities left to boost the resume with East Carolina (RPI: 15th) coming up on Tuesday, and ACC series with Notre Dame (36) and North Carolina (47). The bad news is that those seven games will be pulled down heavily by the other eight remaining games, with those eight being comprised of series against The Citadel (225) and Pittsburgh (83), as well as midweek games against NC A&T (177) and Richmond (242).
The Clemson sweep puts State’s backs squarely against the wall, but with destiny still firmly in their own hands. Anything less than a 6-3 mark over the final three ACC series, as well as a 5-1 mark out of conference, is going to have State in a dicey situation come ACC Tournament time.