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NC State begins critical 5-game stretch at Virginia

Virginia Tech v NC State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

As February approaches, it remains difficult to figure exactly where NC State will need to be wins-wise in this crum-bum conference to actually be in decent shape for an at-large bid to the NCAAs, but I dare say that KenPom’s current 11-9 projection won’t be good enough.

State needs a good run over these next five to move its resume up the ladder a bit, well, hopefully move up the ladder a bit. None of the next five come against teams clearly in the field, which means this is a good opportunity to stack some wins, but also that the needle probably ain’t gonna move a whole lot.

This is what we’re lookin’ at:

State is still well outside the NCAA discussion despite the 5-2 league record—Joe Lunardi has the Pack as his No. 88 team overall, behind every other discussion-worthy ACC bubble team. To give you an idea of just how far out that it is, Wake Forest, currently among his first four out, is at No. 72.

It’s a daunting hill to climb. State badly needs four of these next five, which isn’t exactly the most likely result, but would put the Pack in good position to win at least 12 league games. With a road swing to Wake and Clemson immediately to follow, a successful run through this stretch is essential. A 3-2 record with at least one ice cream win in there we could at least live with, but make no mistake, this team is still very much up against it.

I have my doubts about how this is gonna pan out, but I’ll be hoping for the best all the same.