WFNZ/Jason Huber

NC State Awaits Tournament Fate After Loss To Virginia

Jason Huber
March 14, 2019 - 4:59 pm

Entering the ACC Tournament, many college basketball experts predicted that with a win over Clemson in the second round, the NC State Wolfpack would all but solidify an NCAA Tournament bid.

NC State did just that with a comeback victory and would only exceed expectations if they defeated No. 1-seeded Virginia in Thursday's quarterfinals.

The Wolfpack fell apart in the second half as Cavaliers junior guard Kyle Guy finished the game with 29 points on 10-13 shooting, including 7-9 from 3-point range.

With a No. 32 ranking in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET), the Wolfpack don't see the loss as the end of their season.

"If the selection crew, if they value what they've said all year long, then there shouldn't be any issues with us," NC State head coach Kevin Keatts said. "We've always talked about quad 1 and quad 2 wins, where we just played the No. 1 NET team in the country, and we're 9-9 in quad 1 and quad 2 games after today when you look at it."

Against Top 25 teams, NC State is just 1-9, but have wins over then-No.7 ranked Auburn and an above .500 Syracuse team.

Despite close losses to ranked Virginia in overtime, Louisville, Florida State, Wisconsin and North Carolina, the Wolfpack are hoping the selection committee overlook their 146th strength of schedule ranking.

However, the change to a NET system this season could benefit NC State.

“We went into this game with a NET of 32. More than likely probably will go because we played Virginia even and lost," Keatts said. "So I like our guys' chances. If they value what they have talked about, it shouldn't be an issue at all."

The Wolfpack held second-team All-ACC selection junior guard Ty Jerome to 1-11 shooting and sophomore guard De'Andre Hunter to 3-6 shooting.

"This league is good. They're talented. They're athletic. They pretty much play four guards all the time," Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said. "Whether it's Dorn at the four or whoever else they put in. Again, I think they're a heck of a team."

Virginia will now move on to face Florida State in the semifinals on Friday, and NC State will head home to await their tournament fate on Sunday.

“I will not pay attention to it at all because this is -- and I say this, and here's why I mean it: This is the first year that the selection committee has put value on the NET. I don't think anybody in this room, I don't think anybody in the country knows what that means," Keatts said. "And so I'm not going to -- if you take half of the people they're going to say certain teams should be in, and others, certain teams shouldn't be in. But I feel good about us."

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