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Taking another look at NET and NC State’s NCAA tournament resume

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NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Just as I was starting to think that State could stay in the NET top 20 all season, we went and lost to the worst team in the conference and dropped to #31. That’s unfortunately closer to what we deserve, but the good news is that the ACC is very strong this year with 10 teams in the top 60. That means we could pile up a bunch of losses and still be pretty respectable. The best example of this is Purdue. They’re 11-6 and barely getting votes in the human polls but they’re #17 in the NET because the six losses have all been to solid teams (Virginia Tech, Florida State, Michigan, Texas, Notre Dame, & Michigan State.)

This was the perfect year for the RPI to go away. We are #137 in the RPI. As you may know, the RPI is 25% your adjusted win percentage, 50% your opponents’ win percentage, and 25% your opponents’ opponents’ win percentage. So if Kansas beat Alcorn State by 1000 points, the Jayhawks’ RPI would drop just because they played a winless team. Our schedule has been bad. Really bad. Our first four opponents have a combined three wins against D1 teams. (Thanks for winning a second game, Maine!) Two of our opponents are literally #352 and #353. And then there’s our power conference opponents, Auburn (2-1 SEC), Wisconsin (3-3 B1G), Vanderbilt (0-4 SEC), and Penn State (0-7 B1G).

Thankfully, the NET gives us credit for beating bad teams by big margins. The “Efficiency” metric, defined as your points per possession minus your opponents’ points per possession, is the single best predictor of NET ranking. Here is how all ACC teams are doing in the NET versus their Efficiency and the three components of the RPI (Adjusted Winning Percentage, Opponents’ Winning Percentage, and Opponents’ Opponents’ Winning Percentage):

The best news is that our Opponents’ Winning Percentage has nowhere to go but up. We also have about eight more chances for quality “Quadrant 1” wins. That’s top-30 at home, top-50 neutral, or top-75 away. There’s Virginia & Virginia Tech at home and Notre Dame, Louisville, UNC, Pitt, Duke, & Florida State away. Yikes. Anyway, here’s how the regular season looks now:

2019 Wolfpack

Date Location Rank Opponent Result Efficiency AdjWinPercent OWP OOWP Quadrant
Date Location Rank Opponent Result Efficiency AdjWinPercent OWP OOWP Quadrant
11/06/2018 Home 338 Mount St. Mary's W 105-55 0.73 0.6/0.6 7% 54% 4
11/10/2018 Home 352 Maryland-Eastern Shore W 95-49 0.56 0.6/0.6 0% 55% 4
11/13/2018 Home 353 UNC Asheville W 100-49 0.58 0.6/0.6 0% 46% 4
11/17/2018 Home 331 Maine W 82-63 0.3 0.6/0.6 12% 53% 4
11/20/2018 Home 329 St. Peter's W 85-57 0.4 0.6/0.6 31% 43% 4
11/24/2018 Home 213 Mercer W 78-74 0.15 0.6/0.6 27% 49% 4
11/27/2018 Away 22 Wisconsin L 75-79 -0.09 0.0/0.6 63% 59% 1
12/01/2018 Neutral 86 Vanderbilt W 80-65 0.12 1.0/1.0 60% 51% 2
12/05/2018 Home 270 Western Carolina W 100-67 0.37 0.6/0.6 22% 55% 4
12/15/2018 Neutral 84 Penn State W 89-78 0.21 1.0/1.0 41% 68% 2
12/19/2018 Home 18 Auburn W 78-71 0.07 0.6/0.6 86% 62% 1
12/22/2018 Home 328 USC Upstate W 98-71 0.38 0.6/0.6 13% 44% 4
12/28/2018 Home 306 Loyola (MD) W 97-64 0.42 0.6/0.6 35% 46% 4
01/03/2019 Away 94 Miami (FL) W 87-82 0.02 1.4/1.4 60% 55% 2
01/08/2019 Home 12 UNC L 82-90 -0.08 0.0/1.4 75% 62% 1
01/12/2019 Home 53 Pitt W 86-80 0.03 0.6/0.6 75% 52% 2
01/15/2019 Away 178 Wake Forest L 67-71 -0.16 0.0/0.6 47% 51% 3
01/19/2019 Away 73 Notre Dame . 65% 52% 1
01/24/2019 Away 19 Louisville . 71% 66% 1
01/26/2019 Home 55 Clemson . 65% 60% 2
01/29/2019 Home 1 Virginia . 100% 56% 1
02/02/2019 Home 9 Virginia Tech . 88% 50% 1
02/05/2019 Away 12 UNC . 75% 62% 1
02/09/2019 Away 53 Pitt . 75% 52% 1
02/13/2019 Home 50 Syracuse . 71% 59% 2
02/16/2019 Away 4 Duke . 88% 66% 1
02/20/2019 Home 142 Boston College . 56% 56% 3
02/24/2019 Home 178 Wake Forest . 47% 51% 4
03/02/2019 Away 34 Florida State . 76% 62% 1
03/06/2019 Home 81 Georgia Tech . 59% 51% 3
03/09/2019 Away 142 Boston College . 56% 56% 3