As we get ready for the final full month of the college basketball regular season, let’s take a glance at how the NCAA tournament picture is shaping up on the men’s and women’s sides.
The men’s team improved its position by winning at Wake Forest over the weekend, as that one currently counts as a quad-one win. Wake Forest will need to stay in the NET top 75 for that to remain the case. (The Deacs are currently No. 73.) NC State is No. 39 in the NET as of Tuesday morning, which is good for fourth-best among ACC teams. Miami is the only ACC team with more than three Q1 wins.
Bracket Matrix shows that the Pack is in the field in all 81 of the projections the site tracks, with State averaging out to an 8-seed. A couple projections have NC State as a 6-seed, but that feels a tad on the optimistic end to me.
Joe Lunardi is one of bracketologists with NC State as an 8-seed, and he’s also not seeing much difference between State, Carolina, Clemson, or Miami. (Neither do my eyes, for that matter.)
The Pack has some room for error heading into February; how much exactly is tough to say, but if NC State is an 8-seed right now, then it is ahead of like a dozen other at-large teams in the field.
On the women’s side, the Pack is holding at No. 12 in the NET after the big win against Notre Dame on Sunday. That victory gives NC State two wins against teams in the top 10 of the NET, the other being Iowa. (And that one, as you know, came at Iowa.)
Charlie Creme has NC State as a 5-seed, which would mean going on the road to reach the second weekend. There’s plenty of opportunity to move up a seed line or two, though, since NC State still has Virginia Tech twice (projected 5-seed), UNC (3-seed) once, and Duke (3-seed) once before the regular season ends, plus whatever materializes in the conference tournament.
The Wolfpack’s non-conference schedule will help as well. NC State has beaten Iowa (projected 2-seed), USF (5-seed), UGA (last team in), and West Virginia (first four out). Two of those are road wins. That’s impressive work.