Loss to FSU Doesn't Hurt Wolfpack's NCAA Chances
The NC State basketball team could have helped its NCAA tournament resume considerably with a win against Florida State on Saturday.
Even though that didn’t happen, the Wolfpack’s postseason chances weren’t hurt by its 67-61 loss to the eighth-ranked Seminoles at PNC Arena.
Coach Kevin Keatts’ team dropped only one spot -- from No. 51 to No. 52 -- in the NET rankings used as a tool by the NCAA tournament selection committee.
Despite the loss, Keatts said he likes both his team and its chances.
“I'm happy with my guys. They bust their butt,” Keatts said after the FSU game. “This has been a brutal stretch for us. We've had three road games and then we've had to come back home and play against two of the best teams in our league, two of the best teams in the country. I'm happy with where we're at. We just have to fix the little things."
State (17-10, 8-8 ACC) put itself back on the right side of the bubble by winning two out of three during a recent road trip, then routing No. 6 Duke at PNC last Wednesday. It still has one more opportunity to take a big jump up the rankings with a rematch against Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 2.
Its other three remaining regular season games are against opponents ranked considerably lower -- games at North Carolina (No. 96) on Tuesday and at home against Pittsburgh (No. 100) and Wake Forest (No. 109) the Wolfpack can’t afford to lose.
“We obviously didn’t come out on top tonight, but we’ve got a couple more games coming up in the conference so we can finish strong,” redshirt senior wing C.J. Bryce said. “I feel like we’re going to continue to play hard every single game. You can’t worry about what’s happened in the past. You have to continue to move forward and we’re going to do that with this game also."