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NC State Basketball

Wolfpack Still Has Good Chance to Dance



It’s selection sunday and once again NC State is waiting in anticipation to see if they’ll be included in the field of 68.

As of now ESPN bracketology has NC State as one of their “Next 4 Out.” Now, a lot of this is based solely on the numbers and while the numbers are right in a lot of cases, it’s usually these last 4 or 5 teams in the tournament that get a closer look outside of the realm of statistics.

We have stood firm with our prediction that if NC State beat Miami and then Syracuse in the ACC Tournament (we’ll get into the ‘why’ later), that they would squeak in. We still believe that and have a few others on our side:

Coach K after the State/Duke game yesterday:

“I said to [N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried] at the end of the game, “I hope you guys get in.” I don’t understand it. They won at Tennessee. They probably should have beaten Syracuse twice. I think they’ve played a really good schedule, and they’ve got one of the best players in the country…. I’ll get in trouble probably for saying it. Like the Atlantic 10, they’re a really good conference. I hear people saying there are six teams in there. Come on. I mean, they’re good, but put them in our conference and go through the meat grinder that our conference has to go through. But really… our league should get more respect. The fact that Pitt comes in here and people are saying they have to do something, come on. Come on, man. I don’t get it. The Clemson team we played last night is a heck of a basketball team.”

Then there is this article from ACC reporter David Teel:

The more I look at the credentials of other contenders, the more I suspect the 10-member selection committee chaired by Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman will choose the Wolfpack.

This is my 24th year of projecting the field, and while I’m not nearly as detailed as the national types, or especially my friend Patrick Stevens of, in predicting sites and matchups, my track record isn’t half bad.

Last season I picked all the at-large teams correctly. I missed one team each of the five previous seasons.

…. No. 12s: Stephen F. Austin, Harvard, North Dakota State, N.C. State/BYU play-in.

And then you have these tweets from Patrick Stevens who is very respected when it comes to projecting the field of 68:



So, basically you see why some are thinking State has a good chance to make it. What we’ve been saying all along is that the win over Syracuse gives the Pack a signature win for the committee to look at. It also ups their RPI to an area where you’re really in the discussion. Add in the fact that they have a great strength of schedule, they are peaking at the end of the season and TJ Warren is the ACC player of the year and a real draw when you talk about television and marketing money for the NCAA. We are looking for State to be one of the last teams in and may even play in the play-in game on Tuesday night…but we’ll have to wait and see during the selection show on Sunday evening.

…oh and PS. Dickie V also thinks we’re in….



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NC State Basketball

NC State NET Rankings Report After Syracuse Loss



NC State lost to Syracuse 83-87 last night, and as a result, the Wolfpack fell 5 spots in the NET Rankings to #80. The Orange moved up 6 spots to #84.


NC State is now 9th in the ACC in the NET rankings.

For a refresher on how the NET Rankings are calculated:

Using the quadrant system, which was in its fourth season in 2020-21, the quality of wins and losses will be organized based on game location and the opponent’s NET ranking.

Quadrant 1: Home 1-30, Neutral 1-50, Away 1-75
Quadrant 2: Home 31-75, Neutral 51-100, Away 76-135
Quadrant 3: Home 76-160, Neutral 101-200, Away 135-240
Quadrant 4: Home 161-353, Neutral 201-353, Away 241-353
The number of Quadrant 1 wins and Quadrant 3/4 losses will be incredibly important when it comes time for NCAA tournament selection and seeding. (NCAA)

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NC State Basketball

Thoughts on NC State’s 83-87 Loss to Syracuse



NC State’s (16-10/8-7) 83-87 loss to Syracuse this evening might have been the nail-in-the-coffin when it comes to the Wolfpack’s NCAA Tournament aspirations. They were barely on the bubble as it was, but this game and the next two games against Boston College and Florida State were “must wins.” On top of that, the Wolfpack probably needed to beat Pitt in the regular season finale, and beat either Duke or UNC.

With this loss, NC State will need a miracle. They will need to win the rest of their regular season games, which concludes with 3 consecutive Quad 1 games.

In regards to this evenings game, it’s hard to beat a team when you allow them to shoot 61.3% in the first half, and allow a guy who averages 11.3 points per game (Chris Bell) to sink 8 of 9 three’s at the halfway mark. Sure, you could make the excuse that they were just hitting everything they threw up, but the defense was lackluster, and they failed to adjust to a player with a hot hand.

What I’m about to say isn’t meant to describe a moral victory for NC State. With that being said, this team didn’t give up, and clawed back from a 15-point halftime deficit (16-point at one point in the 2nd half), to take a 1-point lead with 3:15 left in the game. That was the first time the Wolfpack had led since it was 2-0.

Senior DJ Horne was sensational once again, scoring 25+ points for the 5th straight game, matching what Cat Barber did back in 2015-16. Horne finished with 32 points, hitting 11 of his 20 field goal attempts, and an insane 6 of 8 from three.

Could you argue that Horne was fouled on the last play? I guess, but I wouldn’t have called it.

Three other Wolfpack players scored in double figures: Ben Middlebrooks (12), DJ Burns (12) and Jayden Taylor (10). Honestly, they all shot well. Middlebrooks had a double-double, with 10 rebounds.

Mohamed Diarra was solid with 7 points (3-6) and 8 boards.

Syracuse came back to reality in the second half, and ended up shooting 51% from the field, but the Wolfpack shot 47%. Both teams shot well. In fact, NC State actually scored more points off of turnovers, had more second chance points and had more free throws.

You simply can’t put yourself in a position to dig yourself out of a 16-point deficit. You can’t allow a guy to make 8 of 9 three’s in the opening half, with 6 of them being practically uncontested.

The Wolfpack have lost 3 of the last 4, and all 3 losses have been by 4 points or less. I wouldn’t say the Pack lost any of those three games due to a lack of effort. Rather, I would say it was primarily due to inconsistency, a lack of discipline and poor decisions in timely moments (Jayden Taylor’s TO with 1:13 left with the game tied).

With Wake Forest beating Pitt tonight, a Wolfpack win would have put them in 4th place in the ACC.

A big missed opportunity for the Pack this evening.

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NC State Basketball

NC State 83 Syracuse 87: BOX SCORE



NC State has now lost 7 straight to Syracuse, falling to the Orange 83-87 in PNC Arena this evening. Below is the Box Score.

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NC State Basketball

DJ Horne is Looking to Continue His Streak of 20+ Points or More



NC State is trying to stop a 6-game losing streak to Syracuse tonight, but Senior Wolfpack Guard DJ Horne is trying to continue a streak.

Currently, Horne has scored 20+ points in 5 straight games, which is tied with what Terquavion Smith did last year. If Horne scores 20+ points tonight, his 6-game streak will be the longest since 2015-16, when Cat Barber strung together 7 straight games of 20+ points.

Horne also has scored 25+ points in 4 straight games. If he does so again tonight, he will be the first player to do so since Barber did so in 2015-16, when he scored 25+ in 5-straight games.

What Horne has done in his coming home campaign has been nothing short of remarkable. He is shooting 43.4% from three, which ranks 2nd in the ACC. In his last 18 games, Horne is shooting 46.6% from deep. In ACC play, Horne is averaging 19.3 points per game, which ranks 2nd in the conference.

Here’s what Horne’s numbers look like over his 5-game streak of 20+ points: 26.6 points/51.8 FG%/48.8 3PT%.

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