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Lunardi has NC State down to a 10 seed. Is Wednesday night’s ACC Tourny game a must win?

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NC State was an 8 seed, teetering on moving up to a 7th seed just a couple of weeks ago.

Now, after being blown out by Clemson and losing to Duke, the Pack finds themselves looking at a 10 seed according to Joe Lunardi. In fact, he has them as one of the final 8 teams in.

What NC State has going for them is that they really don’t have any bad losses, and neither Notre Dame or VT is going to crush them in the NET, but this is NC State we’re talking about. There are no guarantees. That’s why they really need to win on Wednesday night to lock themselves in.

On the same token, they could make a run in the tournament and get back near that 8-seed territory . That’s where this Pack team currently is. Some days you wonder who could even beat them, and others where you aren’t sure how this team got to 22 wins.

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Papajohn
Papajohn
11 months ago

We never do anything easy

Dof87
Dof87
11 months ago

The site I’m looking at (Playoffstatus) says the probability we make the tournament with a loss on Wed is still 70%. If that’s remotely accurate it demonstrates we are not a lock, but also means a lot of there stuff has to work against us in addition to a loss. Even if we get in at that point we could be looking at the dreaded play in 11 seed. That would really suck. I think with a win we lock up a 9 seed. But what can you trust.. that site has Pitt still out while it seems they are… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Dof87
Afterglow
Afterglow
11 months ago
Reply to  Dof87

I sure hope we’re hungry and want to eat.

Afterglow
Afterglow
11 months ago
Reply to  Afterglow

And that’s not to say we never play with energy. I haven’t seen a game where we’ve slept walk this year, because team seems to play both halves. From my perspective, we just need to play smart and take smart shots and also make shots that we should be making. Easy peasy!!! Our offense clicking may just be the catalyst for peaking.

Last edited 11 months ago by Afterglow
Dof87
Dof87
11 months ago
Reply to  Afterglow

T and JJ got snubbed off first team all ACC. Got something to prove!

Rev
Rev
11 months ago
Reply to  Dof87

and IMO Joiner is the biggest snub! I cannot imagine another player being more important to his team. But I will say, this team is a TEAM. Five players can be counted on to score. Ross, Gantt, Ebe, and even Pass have always played with passion if not always with consistent performance. As a team, we really have massively improved on both offense and defense. So, bring ‘em on. No way Keatts doesn’t get everyone fired up for this game after losing the last two. The only worry is they get too emotional. That’s the excuse I am using for… Read more »

Afterglow
Afterglow
11 months ago
Reply to  Rev

Records aside, I feel Notre Dame is the most dangerous of the two teams we could face in our first game.

Dof87
Dof87
11 months ago
Reply to  Afterglow

I feel similar but Vegas likes VT to beat ND, so maybe we won’t have to worry. Last game they played us close but had high 3pt shot percentage plus out-rebounded us. Fouls were not a problem in that game.

Clark didn’t play in that game, and that means better rebounding and defending the 4 3 pt shooters for us.

We beat VT handily at their place, but throw that out the window in a tourney game.

Papajohn
Papajohn
11 months ago
Reply to  Dof87

VT was missing a starter, Hunter Catoor, in our first game. He’s their best 3PT shooter, shooting 42%. He’s got the full stat line 10.8 ppg / 3.9 reb / 2.4 assists / 1 steal. Good player. He’ll make a difference.
They scare the pants off me.

Afterglow
Afterglow
11 months ago
Reply to  Papajohn

I think the first game in general is making me worried. If we play ND and they have a career day against us, we lose to a Q4 team. With three losses in a row and a final loss to a Q 4 team, that would not bode well for us. On the other hand, a win against VT could do wonders for us and almost assure we make it into the tournament (although, I’d feel safe as a State fan if we just won the whole damn thing, right?). Losing to them would suck only a little less in… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Afterglow
SorryIamafan
SorryIamafan
11 months ago
Reply to  Afterglow

How many games will we win in the NIT?

SorryIamafan
SorryIamafan
11 months ago
Reply to  Rev

Do you think we can beat Clemson if we beat VT? I don’t.

NC State Basketball

There is Reason to be Frustrated

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If you are an NC State fan, it’s only reasonable that you’re frustrated with the state of the Men’s Basketball program.

Under Kevin Keatts, NC State has gone to the NCAA Tournament twice in 7 seasons. The Wolfpack didn’t win a game in the Big Dance in either of those appearances.

Keatts has led NC State to a 3-5 record in the ACC Tournament, failing to reach the semifinals a single time.

You could make an argument that his first season in Raleigh was his best (I don’t think it was), because the Wolfpack finished 5th in the ACC, which is the highest the team has finished in the conference under his watch.

2017-18 – 5th
2018-19 – 8th
2019-20 – 6th
2020-21 – 9th
2021-22 – 15th
2022-23 – 6th
2023-23 – 9th (currently)

Average finish: 8.3

(For context, in 6 seasons, Mark Gottfried’s average finish was 8.7.)

Over the past 7 seasons, NC State has been ranked in the Top-25 in only 8 polls (2 separate seasons), with the highest being on January 7th, 2019, when the Wolfpack were ranked 15th.

Under Gottfried, NC State was ranked in 13 polls (all one season). With Herb Sendek at the helm, the Wolfpack were ranked in the Top-25 in 5 different seasons, in a total of 35 polls.

Do I think Kevin Keatts is the worst coach at NC State in recent memory? No, that award goes to Sydney Lowe. In all reality, NC State’s record overall and in conference play is nearly identical under Keatts, as it was under Mark Gottfried and Herb Sendek.

(Overall/Conference)
Kevin Keatts – 58.3/48.3
Mark Gottfried – 58.9/45.3
Herb Sendek – 59.1/45.0

What’s the difference between Keatts and the other two?

A couple of observations.

Sendek finished his time at NC State with 5 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, and Gottfried started off his tenure with 4 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The Wolfpack advanced to the 2nd round 3 times, and the Sweet 16 once under Sendek. Under Gottfried, they advanced to the 2nd round twice.

Sendek led NC State to the ACC Championship game 3 times (in 10 years), and the semifinals 4 times. Gottfried led the Wolfpack to the semifinals on 3 occasions. Heck, Sidney Lowe led NC State to the ACC Championship game once, and the semifinals on another occasion.

Is the NC State Men’s Basketball program worse off under Keatts than it was under the previous coaches? If you simply look at total wins and losses, that’s not necessarily the case, but when you look at the Wolfpack’s production in postseason play, there is no other answer besides ‘yes.’

Every now and then you have to be willing to eat crow. Years ago, I was of the opinion that Herb Sendek needed to go. Do I think that Sendek would have brought NC State back to where it was in the 80’s? I didn’t think it then, and I’m not certain my opinion on that has changed, but the past 20 years has proven to me that the grass isn’t always greener.

Call me nostalgic, but from a historical perspective, I believe NC State fans have right to expect their Men’s Basketball program to be successful…to consistently be ranked in the Top-25…to finish in the top half of the ACC…compete for conference championships…and go to the Big Dance on a regular basis.

There is reason to be frustrated.

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NC State Basketball

Madison Hayes Will Be Returning for Her Final Year of Eligibility in 2024-25

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Last night NC State Guard Madison Hayes was honored on Senior Night, but she also announced that she would be returning in 2024-25 for her final year of eligibility. She was honored alongside Center River Baldwin and Forward Mimi Collins, who are both out of eligibility after this season.

Hayes is in the midst of a breakout season this year, averaging 11.7 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, which are both career highs. She ranks 3rd on the team in scoring, behind the other two Guards in the starting lineup, Aziaha James and Saniya Rivers, who will also be back in 2024-25. Even though she is a Guard, Hayes leads the Wolfpack in rebounding. Her 44.1% Field Goal Percentage is the best of any of the Wolfpack Guards, and her Three Point Percentage of 41.7% is the best on the squad.

As a Senior in high school, Hayes was named a McDonald’s All-American in 2020, and she earned a spot on the All SEC Freshman team in 2021 as a member of Mississippi St. In 2021-22, she transferred to NC State, and played in 26 games off the bench, but earned a spot in the starting lineup last season.

Big news for the Wolfpack Women’s Basketball program!

 

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NC State Basketball

NC State 64 #9 Duke 79: BOX SCORE

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#9 Duke defeated NC State 79-64 in PNC Arena this evening. With one game remaining for the Wolfpack in the regular season, they are now 17-13 overall, and 9-10 in ACC play. Below is the Box Score.

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NC State Basketball

NC State Women’s Basketball Finishes Regular Season in the Top-10

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After defeating Syracuse and Wake Forest this past week, NC State’s Women’s Basketball team has now reentered the Top-10 of the AP Poll heading into the ACC Tournament, landing at #10.

ACC Teams in the Top-25

10. NC State

11. Virginia Tech

14. Notre Dame

20. Syracuse

24. Louisville

30. Duke

30. UNC

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