NC State was essentially out of the NCAA tournament conversation heading into the weekend--the Pack was not even among Joe Lunardi's first four out or next four out of the 68-team field, which is a bleak prognosis in mid-February. But State's win at Louisville changed the picture significantly.
One game and suddenly the Pack's tournament credentials look considerably better. State not only picked up a second marquee win, but it got this one on the road. The team's RPI vaulted back into the 45-50 range, and by Sunday, Lunardi had the Pack back in the field, albeit at the tail end of the bubble.
The Dance Card is a little higher on State than Lunardi, placing the Wolfpack a handful of spots ahead of the final at-large position. Obviously State has a lot it needs to do in order to fortify a position in the tournament, but right now it's just a relief to be back in the picture.
Team Rankings gives NC State a 46.3% chance of making the tournament after the Louisville game; this time last week, State's odds were under 25%. Twenty wins still looks like the goal for a somewhat relaxed selection Sunday--at 20 wins, State's at-large odds are projected to be about 91%. That drops off significantly at 19 wins, though the odds hold above 50%.