Matt Ward of CBSSports picked 5 schools that missed the NCAA Tournament in 2019, that could even make a run at the Final Four in 2020. In the past 9 years, 5 teams have made the Final Four who missed the Big Dance the year prior.
NC State was 1 of the 5 teams picked that could make a run.
NC State Wolfpack
After posting a 24-12 record last season, including a 9-9 record in the ACC and an ACC Tournament win over Clemson, the Wolfpack were on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament and will look to return this season. The selection committee didn’t exactly look highly on the Wolfpack’s’ record last season and they had to settle for an NIT bid, ultimately bowing out to Lipscomb. They finished 36th in the final NET rankings, and while 11 at-large bids went to teams ranked below them in the NET, there was just one team ranked above them also left out: NIT champion Texas.
The issue? NC State’s nonconference schedule was ranked dead last in all of Division I — that’s 353rd. The ACC offers a myriad of opportunities, but they didn’t take advantage against the likes of Duke, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida State. The Wolfpack will need to get at least one of those games this season and their nonconference schedule will also be more challenging. Beyond traveling to Auburnand hosting Wisconsin, whom they played last season, they will travel to Greensboro to play UNC Greensboro and will play Memphis at Barclays Center.
Kevin Keatts brings back a wealth of talent, specifically in the backcourt, led by Markell Johnson. The senior point guard is one of the best in the country. C.J. Bryce, Braxton Beverly, and Devon Daniels are also key returners. Their biggest area of improvement will be in the frontcourt. Keatts struggled to find consistency there last season, but the additions of graduate transfers in 6-10 Danny Dixon (UMKC) and 6-8 forward Pat Andree (Lehigh) should reap rapid rewards. Both big men, especially Andree, can stretch out and make shots from 3-point range. Add redshirt freshman Immanuel Bates to the mix, and the Wolfpack frontcourt is much improved.
The Wolfpack are a serious candidate here to go from out to Atlanta. They have experience to couple with young talent led by incoming freshman Dereon Seabron and redshirt sophomore Atticus Taylor. Keatts’ pressing defense can cause difficulties for teams without much time to prepare. The difference maker is Johnson. He is an elite point guard who will have plenty of opportunities to lead the Pack to big wins this season. (CBS)
Ironically, one of the other 5 teams was Memphis, who NC State will be playing in non-conference play in the Barclays Center Classic.
NC State Makes Top-10 for Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier
George Mason Graduate Transfer Guard Justin Kier (6’4″/197) included NC State in his list of Final 10 schools.
— Andrew Slater (@Andrew__Slater) April 13, 2020
Kier was granted a fifth year of eligibility after missing all but 9 games last season due to injury. He was expected to arguably be George Mason’s best returning player next year, averaging 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds, earning All-Atlantic 10 2nd Team honors.
NC State Reaches Out to UAB Transfer Makhtar Guyer
According to Rivals’ Corey Evans, NC State has reached out to UAB Transfer Forward Makhtar Guyer (6’10″/210), after he announced he was transferring on Friday.
Virginia Tech has offered UAB transfer Makhtar Guyer, he tells @RivalsPortal.
Georgetown, Miami, Mississippi State, NC State and San Diego State have reached out since his transfer yesterday. @Hokie_Haven
— Corey Evans (@coreyevans_10) April 11, 2020
— Makhtar Gueye (@Thelionkilla) April 11, 2020
Guyer has one year of eligibility remaining. Last year as a Junior at UAB, Guyer averaged 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds, starting in 27 of 31 games.
NC State Accepts Recommendation to Move Case to IARP
NC State has accepted the recommendation to move their violation’s case from the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.
“We’ve stated throughout this process that NC State will accept accountability for any shortcomings and defend ourselves aggressively where we feel it is appropriate and necessary to do so,” Woodson wrote in a statement released by the school on Wednesday. “As our response to the Referral Petition demonstrates, we do not think NC State can receive an objective or fair hearing before the Committee on Infractions in this matter. We believe the only remaining option is that our case be moved to the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.
“NC State has a long history of working cooperatively with the NCAA, and we remain committed to working collaboratively through the IARP to address concerns and to resolve this matter as fairly and efficiently as possible.” (WRAL)
The IARP is made up of decision makers that are investigators and legal advocates that are independent of any NCAA teams.
The difference between the traditional process, and the IARP, is that the latter’s decision is final, unable to be appealed.
Vote For NC State Men’s Basketball Fans in Fox College Hoops 64-Team Bracket
In the absence of the NCAA Tournament, Fox College Hoops has created a 64-team bracket to determine the best fanbase of Men’s Basketball teams.
They determined 60 of the contestants based of the Men’s Basketball teams with the most Twitter followers. The final four were determined by the highest rated teams not yet selected according to the NET Rankings.
You: So how does this #FOXFanVote thing work?
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) April 5, 2020
The winner of each matchup is determined by fan vote, obviously.
NC State’s Men’s Basketball fans were given a #8 seed in the East Bracket.
The winner of the bracket, will earn quite a gift. Fox College Hoops will place a billboard of that team in close proximity to their rival.
Go ahead and vote for NC State to beat Alabama in the 1st round right now.