The Florida State Seminoles were one of the biggest surprises in college basketball to start the 2013-14 season with impressive wins over the then-no. 10 and no. 22 Massachusetts Minutemen, as well as a one-point loss to the Florida Gators and an overtime loss to the Michigan Wolverines. However, once ACC play began, the Seminoles have fallen back into mediocrity with a 4-4 record in conference play.
On the other hand, fellow mid-range ACC team, the North Carolina State Wolf Pack, are fighting for their NCAA tournament lives. Without a marquee win, North Carolina State is clearly far outside the hunt for a tournament berth, but the Wolf Pack only have one loss that is considered “bad” on their resume. North Carolina State was able to defeat Florida State 74-70 and take a step closer towards their NCAA Tournament dreams behind a 30-point performance by T.J. Warren.
With games against the no. 2 Syracuse Orange and no. 18 Pittsburgh Panthers remaining, they still have opportunities to pull out a marquee win that is necessary for a team with their record to make the tournament. They must also continue to win against mid-range ACC teams, because one or two losses could mean the team ending up on the outside looking into March Madness.
I don’t think the Wolfpack will be able to make it to the 2014 NCAA Tournament, but they have the capability and the talent to. Even if they don’t make it to the Big Dance, North Carolina State is an extremely young team that will benefit from a visit to the NIT. Expect big things from the Wolfpack in the future as North Carolina State should be a lock for the 2015 NCAA Tournament.