NC State March Madness: Latest on Wolfpack’s NCAA Tournament Chances

Markell Johnson

Getty NC State guard Markell Johnson

The North Carolina State Wolfpack pulled out a crucial first-round comeback against the Clemson Tigers in the 2019 ACC Tournament. But while some believed that was enough to get them into the NCAA tournament, there have been multiple questions about that over the past day or so.

In the end, the belief was that the Wolfpack may need to get another win over the ACC’s No. 1 seed, the Virginia Cavaliers on Thursday. After NC State held a 29-27 lead at halftime, the Cavaliers were dominant in the second half while surging to a 76-56 win. So it looks likely that the Wolfpack may be left to sweat the tournament bubble over the coming days.

Regardless, we’re going to take a look at the latest on their chances and outlook, as well as what bracketologists have said.

Outlook After NC State’s Win Over Clemson

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi spoke about the Wolfpack after their first win in the ACC tournament, and the consensus wasn’t great. He stated at the time that they remain on the “last four in” and didn’t move up much with the victory.

Lunardi argued that NC State’s victories in the ACC weren’t strong and may not be enough to get in, even though they were 9-9 in conference play during the regular season. From there, Lunardi called the chances “50-50” with a loss to Virginia (the announcers later revealed Lunardi said 55 percent shortly after).

This proved to be spot on with his updated bracketology breakdown following Wednesday’s action. He pegged NC State among the “last four in” as previously stated, while Clemson dropped out of his field in the process.

Evaluating NC State’s Tournament Chances With Virginia Loss

Although the projected seed for NC State if in the dance seems to be around No. 11, Bracket Matrix, who pulls predictions from all over the internet, posted their average seeding as 10.84. But while the Wolfpack remain as a bubble team, the broadcast team during their game against the Cavaliers made an interesting point.

They stated that more than seven teams from the ACC should be in the tournament, which is a fair argument. And when looking at the standings, it’s hard to argue that NC State wouldn’t be that eighth team to get into the mix.

Kevin Keatts’ squad will finish the year at 22-11 and are the No. 8 seed in the ACC. Their only true competition to be that final team in from the conference is Clemson, and Wednesday’s victory over them was pegged as a potential “play-in game” by many. In turn, the outlook for the Wolfpack should leave them slightly better than a 50 percent chance to make the dance.

But as we’ve seen so many times, things can change quickly and one or two bubble teams taking down their conference championship could really hurt NC State.

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