NC State Athletic Instructor Debbie Yow said she was "disappointed" that Wolfpack's "overall performance was not rewarded" with a place in the NCAA tournament despite its high rankings in the computer that the Selection Board used to evaluate teams.
Of all the teams that missed the NCAA tournament field, NC State had the highest NET ranking of 33. The NCAA introduced the NET ranking this season to replace RPI as a more analytical system that included factors such as game results, schedule strength, game placement, scoring margin and net efficiency at both ends of the court.
Nevertheless, the NC state – as well as the acclaimed ACC team Clemson of 35 – was out despite having a superior NET ranking than the last four major teams that will play in the first four in Dayton, Ohio, Tuesday and Wednesday. Belmont's NET ranking was 47, Temple's 56, Arizona State's 63 and St. John's 73.
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"NC State is ranked No. 33 in NET, 32 in KenPom, 26 in BPI and 24 in Sagarin," Yow wrote on Sunday. "Our strength is 179, and only Kevin Pauga rankings are higher than No. 33 in 66.
"We finished 8-9 versus quad 1 and 2 programs [in NET rankings], with five of these games outside our home, while playing 14 games against teams in the Top 50 of NET rankings and having only two losses outside of the Top 22 in NET. This included a victory against SEC Champions, Auburn University and five games against Field No.1 Seeds.
"Based on the calculations [cited] above, as the NCAA showed they would use to evaluate team performance, we were disappointed by our athletes, coaches and fans that our overall work was not rewarded with elections for the NCAA tournament. "
NC State and Clemson were also not included in the four teams selected as First Four Out. They went to UNC Greensboro (NET 60), Alabama (59), TCU (52) and Indiana (54) who also got the top seeds in NIT while NC State and Clemson are 2 seeds.
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Election Committee Chairman Bernard Muir told ESPN that a team's specific NET ranking was not intended to be decisive for the committee's election.
"NET is just a sorting tool, it is a tool for many that we have. Of course, we also see many games and it also goes into the discussion," Muir said. "We were delighted with how NET performed, but we do not just go down the list one by one … We really try to evaluate the full working group that is committee practice and likewise make decisions, who is the best team that belongs to the 36 at-larges. "
However, after the CBS competition, Muir said the committee investigated how well teams opposed opponents in NET rankings top quadrant. He noted that a team like Belmont, who went 2-2 against Quadrant 1 team, was considered more favorable than a team like NC State, who went 3-9 against quadrant 1 opponents and therefore did not exploit more opportunities for quadrant 1 winner.
Clemson was only 1-10 against quadrant 1 team, while Texas, with a NET ranking of 38, went 5-10 and also settled for NIT. St. Johns is despite his much lower net ranking of 73, went 5-7 against quadrant 1 team, most victories in all the last four in and first four out team than Indiana, who went 6-9 against quadrant 1. But St. John's also went 5-3 against quadrant 2, while Indiana was only 2-6.
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This method could also have condemned Alabama, who was only 3-10 against Quadrant 1 opponents, although coach Avery Johnson admitted that his team was not deserving to deserve a place.
"We have no one else to blame," Johnson said. "We play in NIT because we just weren't good enough in the regular season and we weren't consistent enough."
The NCAA said UNC Greensboro was within 68 for Oregon won the Pac-12 tournament on Saturday night to make an automatic bid. But UNCG coach Wes Miller took some comfort in knowing how close his Spartans were to being the first Southern Conference Team to ever make a big bid.
"It's been an emotional couple of hours," Miller said. "We felt, of course, that we deserved to be in the tournament. We felt we were good enough. To find out you're not coming in, it's heartbreaking and finding out you were somewhere away, maybe one day there "It is something that makes it feel a little better, but right now it makes it a little worse."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.