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NC State-Duke highlights, plus let us discuss our shiny new RPI situation

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Prior to the NC State's victory over Duke, the Pack was No. 48 in the NCAA's official RPI calculations--not a bad spot, but hardly in sure-thing territory, either. Those RPI rankings haven't been updated to reflect Sunday's win just yet, but if the udated RPI at WarrenNolan.com is an indicator, State is moving into the top 40.

I don't know if NCSU will end up at No. 32 in the NCAA's calculations (they differ slightly, as far as I can tell) this week, but regardless, the Pack is going to be in a more comfortable place. I feel more relaxed already. The Top 40 Lounge. I forgot about the chill vibe they got in here. Somehow the music they're playing always perfectly evokes the secure yet unsatisfying feel of the 8-9 seed line. Don't know how they do it. But I digress.

State can further strengthen its position on Wednesday night, since North Carolina ranks in the RPI top 20. The Pack will have one other top-50 win opportunity in January (Notre Dame), possibly two if Miami can pick up a quality win in the week ahead. I'm assuming Georgia Tech is only going to slide from its current spot at 57.

Florida State is the big January RPI grenade State needs to avoid; no matter how the UNC game turns out, the Pack has got to be ready for the Seminoles on Saturday. That game is on the road, which would cushion a loss somewhat in the eyes of the RPI, but taking an L from a team ranked around 150 is a quick way to get yourself removed from the Top 40 Lounge.

Schedule the rest of the month:

Jan. 14 -- vs. UNC (RPI No. 13)
Jan. 17 -- at FSU (RPI No. 146)
Jan. 22 -- at Miami (RPI No. 78)
Jan. 25 -- vs. UND (RPI No. 47)
Jan. 28 -- vs. Clemson (RPI No. 109)
Jan. 31 -- at GT (RPI No. 57)

(Those RPI figures are all from WarrenNolan.com)