The last two wins for the NC State men have done a lot for their NCAA tournament prospects, as both count as quad-one wins. Joe Lunardi went from having State off the bubble on the wrong side to off the bubble on the right side—that is, solidly in the field.
Of the 61 bracket projections tracked by Bracket Matrix, NC State is currently in 53 of ’em, with a high of a six-seed and a low of a 12 in a couple cases (one of the latter hasn’t been updated since last week).
It averages out to a nine-seed, basically, which is some very familiar territory for this program. Being projected into an 8-9 game is like coming home again. Just feels right.
I did notice something odd about Lunardi’s bracket:
That little ‘aq’ is short for auto-qualifier. Has Joe Lunardi seen the future? Is this merely a whoopsie? I’m going to have to assume that Joe Lunardi has seen the future, as this is the far more likely scenario of the two. We’re going to win the ACC tournament but still end up a nine-seed because of the haters!
As for the women’s side, there is plenty of suspense building there, too, though it is of a different variety. The Wolfpack is going to make the NCAAs, no doubt, but this year it’s a bit more up in the air whether or not State ends up as a top-four seed.
Remember, the top four seeds in each region host the opening weekend of the tournament. ESPN’s Charlie Creme has NC State as a four-seed currently, or squarely on the hosting bubble, if you’d rather.
There are a plethora of quality win opportunities ahead—Creme has nine ACC teams in the field—and NC State will hopefully start moving up in the standings now that it is getting healthier. I’ll be surprised if the Wolfpack doesn’t ultimately end up as a top-four seed.