With just 3 regular season games left, N.C. State can make a definitive case for an at-large. It won’t be easy for Kevin Keatts, who lead UNC Wilmington to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in 2016 and 2017, but his team has all a coach could ask for - an opportunity.
The Pack will take on Florida State (19-8, 8-7 ACC) who will come in at #25 in the AP Poll after a victory against Clemson at home. NC State follows that with a relatively unintimidating (right?) road game at Georgia Tech (11-17, 4-11) before closing the regular season with Louisville (18-10, 8-7) at PNC Arena. The Cardinals may be fighting for their tournament life at that point.
Georgia Tech is a game that the Pack cannot lose with crucial ACC tournament positioning at stake - at this stage in the season, a late bad loss would also damage NC State’s NCAA tournament positioning. Provided they take care of business, a split against Louisville and Florida State would put them at 21-10 headed into the ACC tournament, where a win would almost guarantee their at-large chances. If the Pack were to sweep the remainder of their schedule, a double-bye would be in play for the conference tournament, which would have Keatts’ club in without a doubt.