It has been brought to my attention that certain among you recently have had growing concern in re: NC State's NCAA tournament viability. It is January, and this is a perfectly logical emotional response this time of year. You know I worry about you people, though, which is why I wanted to offer this brief note of calm.
Based on the simulations run by TeamRankings.com, NC State has approximately a 37% chance of making the NCAAs. Yes, this is in spite of every loss to this point. That is a lot of percent, I think you would have to admit. I mean, we're like 3:2 dogs here; practically a coin flip the rest of the way. Besides, living by a thread is the only way to live!
Team Rankings projects a final 18-13 record for the Pack (so does Pomeroy), which would mean a 9-9 finish in league play. Based on the simulations they've run, 20 overall wins is the magic number we're lookin' for--20 wins and State's odds of earning a bid surge well above 50%.
Twenty wins in the regular season would almost have to include a marquee win or two since that would mean an 11-7 finish in league play, and a sure ticket to the dance. Needing the ACC tourney to hit 20 is a different, and slightly more dramatic possibility. Last year's NC State team hit 21 with two wins in the ACC tournament, which was just ever-so-barely enough. And I truly believe that this year's squad is indeed capable of doing just ever-so-barely enough again.
Of course, there's plenty that can still move the bar. Like beating Duke and North Carolina back to back, for instance.