Steven’s article from earlier in the week had me thinking, “Well, if the ACC has some work to do to strengthen NCAA Tournament resumes, surely getting into the meat of conference play will lift all teams up, right?”
Wrong. Well, at least in the near term for NC State.
The schedule between now and when the calendar flips over to February is not overly impressive from a NET evaluation perspective. The Wolfpack have nine games during this period, eight of them being conference games. Of those games, only two are currently Quadrant 1 games from a NET ranking, while five are Quadrant 3 games.
The somewhat good news here is that if you assume the NET rankings will slowly move to more closely resemble the KenPom rankings, then two of the Quadrant 3 games (vs Miami, vs North Carolina) have the potential to move up to Quadrant 2 games (although if North Carolina wants to finish with a NET Ranking of 91 or lower, I wholeheartedly welcome them to do so).
Moral of the story: until February, best not to concern yourself with the NET rankings.
Now the actual good news is that come February 1st through the end of the regular season, NC State will have many more opportunities to improve the resume, with four of the last ten games currently Quadrant 1 match-ups and only two Quadrant 3 games.
The number of Quadrant 1 games over that final ten game stretch could be as high as seven if Miami, Syracuse, and North Carolina improve just slightly in the NET rankings to jump up a quadrant. Likewise, very modest improvement from Boston College could move that away game from a Quadrant 3 to a Quadrant 2, leaving the regular season finale against Wake Forest as the lone Quadrant 3 game over the last half of conference play.
Although we could just not worry about any of this resume stuff if the team goes and wins all the games left on the schedule. That’s an okay-ish alternative, if you’re into that sort of thing.