NC State is up to No. 35 nationally in the latest NET rankings released by the NCAA through games of Dec. 25. That's a three-spot jump from the previous rankings, an increase that can be attributed to the Wolfpack's game at No. 8 Auburn and a significant improvement on the part of Georgia Tech.
Among the factors used to determine the NET (an acronym for NCAA Evaluation Tool) rankings are game results, strength of schedule, game location, scoring margin and net efficiency at both ends of the court.
The value of wins and losses are weighted by quadrants.
Quadrant 1 includes teams ranked in the top 30 for games played at home, the top 50 for neutral site games and the top 75 on the road. Quadrant 2 includes teams ranked from 31-75 at home, 51-100 at neutral sites and 76-135 on the road. Quadrant 3 includes teams ranked from 76-160 at home, 101-200 at neutral sites and 135-240 on the road while Quadrant 4 includes all other games.
Although the Auburn game was a loss, it came on the road against a Quad 1 opponent. And while the Georgia Tech loss is still a Quad 3 defeat, the Yellow Jackets' rating rose from 156 to 118.
State is currently the fourth-highest rated ACC team behind only No. 7 Louisville, No. 8 Duke and No. 25 Florida State.
Keep in mind that the numbers will fluctuate greatly as the season goes on and conferences get into the bulk of their league schedules.
It should also be noted that the NET rankings, which were introduced last season to replace the RPI as a more analytical system of judging teams' resumes, aren't held in as high regard by the NCAA tournament selection committee as the public was first led to believe.
That became evident last March when coach Kevin Keatts' Wolfpack was left out of the field of 68 despite having a NET ranking of 30 -- higher than four teams that did get in, along with each of the "first four out" of the bracket.