Can The NC State Wolfpack Continue Their Run Into The NIT?

Allen LoppCorrespondent IMarch 14, 2010

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 11:  Jerai Grant #45 of the Clemson Tigers guards Tracy Smith #23 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack in their first-round game in the 2010 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 11, 2010 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Unless you have been under a rock these past four days you know of the upsets going on all across the nation.

This includes the best conference tournament of them all, the ACC tournament. NC State and Miami both made the semi-finals and they were the bottom two teams seed-wise in the ACC.

The NC State Wolfpack were going into the ACC tournament having won the last three of their five games.

The Wolfpack were going into their game on Thursday looking to avenge a early season loss against Clemson. In that game the Wolfpack came back from a 17 point half time deficit to bring the game within one before Clemson pulled away for a three point victory.

This time around Sidney Lowe's squad got out of the gate early and got ahead by two and never looked back. The Wolfpack played well but not efficiently, they committed 19 turnovers. Clemson was just as bad if not worse they committed 15 turnovers and they also shot 39 percent. NC State pulled out the victory 59-57.

The next night of the ACC tournament, NC State faced off against Florida State an opponent they beat once already this season.

Florida State was a different beast to mess with, NC State is a small team with their tallest starter being only six feet and eight inches and Florida State has two seven footers.

Florida State out rebounded NC State 39 to 23, but despite FSU's size they couldn't score on a constant basis and they also committed 20 turnovers.

NC State continued their winning streak and they pulled out another tough victory by winning 58-52.

To everyone's surprise the NC State Wolfpack and Miami Hurricanes had both advanced to the ACC Semi-finals, unfortunately both would see their demise in their upcoming games.

NC State despite committing a surprising low amount of turnovers(4), still lost. I know many Wolfpack fans will point to Javier Gonzalez as the reason we lost, but they are forgetting how the team failed to capitalize on turnovers among many other things.

The final score of that game was Georgia Tech 57-54 over the Wolfpack.

NC State played like a team on mission in the ACC tournament which brings up another point, will the Wolfpack get invited into the NIT?

The Wolfpack's overall record is 19 wins and 15 losses, and they have some impressive wins against Akron(Neutral site), at Marquette, Clemson(Neutral site), Duke, and two wins against Florida State( Neutral Site and at FSU). NC State's RPI according to is 96 and their strength of schedule is 65.

Those credentials should be enough to get the Wolfpack into the NIT.

Sidney Lowe's squad has arguably played their best this season, since their win against Wake Forest.

They have managed to cut down on turnovers, feed the ball inside to Tracy Smith with more success, and the guards have really stepped up.

All those things listed above have resulted directly from the increased play of Javier Gonzalez. The whole offense runs directly through the hands of Javier and as he goes, the teams goes. Over the past seven games he has had increased points, increased assists, and decreased turnovers.

Javier isn't the only reason for the success of late, the team's effort on defense has stepped up. Their opponents have failed to score seventy points and only once has a team scored over sixty points.

If the Wolfpack are to make a run deep into the NIT tournament they will need to continue to make stops on defense and Javier will need to continue to step up and create plays and make shots.