After a dreadful 1--5 start in ACC play, N.C. State is solidly back in the NCAA tournament hunt. The NCAA selection committee takes injuries into account in its deliberations and will note that the Wolfpack (13--8) suffered when senior point guard Engin Ats√ºr (above) missed 12 games earlier this season with a hamstring injury but was 7--2 at week's end with him in the lineup, including wins last week over then No. 16 Virginia Tech, 70--59, and then No. 3 North Carolina, 83--79.
The Mountain West Conference deserves to get three teams into the NCAA tournament. UNLV (11th), Air Force (14th) and BYU (29th) were all ranked in the RPI's top 30 through Sunday.
Cartier Martin (left) has been unstoppable of late. Kansas State's 6'8" senior forward was averaging 18.7 points in his last seven games, including a team-high 27 in the Wildcats' 73--72 upset of then No. 23 Texas in Austin last Saturday. The standout sixth man made seven of 11 three-point attempts against the Longhorns, three of them in the final four minutes.