NC State is the No. 6 seed in the Lexington Region and will face No. 11 Auburn on Friday. Here’s the good news: not only did the Wolfpack Women avoid UConn’s region, they avoided UConn’s side of the bracket. Avoiding UConn for as long as possible is always preferred.
Now for the bad: State has to travel to Austin, Texas, where third-seeded Texas is the host. Most likely State will have to win a road game as an underdog to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. That is a bummer, and there’s a good argument to be made that NC State deserved a better seed.
The Wolfpack have wins over Notre Dame (1-seed), Duke (2-seed), FSU (3-seed), and Louisville (4-seed). Two of those four wins came on the road. You’d be hard pressed to find schools with a better pair of true road wins than State’s wins over FSU and Louisville. The Pack also finished 12-4 in ACC play, good for fourth place, and a full two games ahead of Miami (10-6), which received a 4-seed from the selection committee.
The Hurricanes were a combined 1-6 against UND/Duke/FSU/Louisville, but their RPI (15) is much better than the Pack’s (39), and they do hold the head-to-head edge. Still it’s hard to justify the difference in seeding here when looking at the overall picture. State finished 4-5 against the RPI, while Miami was 3-8.
And Miami is just one example—there are several different cases of inconsistent logic when it comes to the seeding in this field. Only thing I can figure is the committee wasn’t impressed with NC State’s RPI or its performance outside of the ACC (which, admittedly, was unremarkable). But who knows, really.
Anyway, congrats to the ladies for a well-earned spot in the field this season, and best of luck to them out in Texas. They get to make their own argument on the court.