After NC State beat Duke last Sunday, its RPI jumped into the top 35, which is an excellent spot for an at-large bid. Then the UNC game happened, and with it, a drop from 33rd to 43rd, an exit from the Top 40 Lounge to the ADRENALINE ZONE EXTREME LIVING area.
We're talking last-four-in extreme livin', y'all. Don't you feel more alive than ever? ESPN's Joe Lunardi has the Wolfpack as one of the last four in the tournament and set for another trip to Dayton, this time against St. John's. (On a side note, I actually wouldn't mind that draw at all, save the whole First Four part.)
While the Pack appears near the tail end of the list of at-large bids right now, its overall odds of making the NCAAs have improved according to TeamRankings.com. This time last week, State had about a 37% chance of making the tournament per that site; those odds are 55.6% now.
Florida State, which is up next for the Pack, is coming off a loss at Pittsburgh and ranks 153rd in the RPI. With Lenny Ham's group surprisingly absent any defensive punch this season, that game is not only a great bounce-back opportunity, it's a necessary win to keep the Pack on the right side of the bubble and restore confidence.