Pitt or Clemson Should Be Firmly in Round of 64 Over NC State

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Far be it for me to complain about the best Pitt basketball season since 2016, but here I am complaining.  On Sunday, we found out that the Pitt Panthers received an 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament, which included a play-in game against Mississippi State happening tonight 9:10 PM.  I was very excited, and relieved, to see Pitt listed.  

However, once the excitement evened out, I was quick to realize that Pitt should have been firmly in the first round as they were much more deserving of the seed given to NC State.  It was still an 11 seed, but the Wolfpack get to forego a play-in game and start their tournament season on Friday.

First of all, yes, I agree with most of the country in saying that the ACC had a down year.  I didn't necessarily feel that way when Pitt was firing on all cylinders, but the Pitt team we have seen since March 1st has been a pretty bad one.  For this Pitt team to have come just one shot away from beating Miami at their place and winning the ACC, unfortunately, does not say much for the conference as a whole.  Also, the highest seed an ACC team received on Sunday was a 4, which is much worse relative to the other power conferences.  

However, with that being said, I think all ACC teams should be judged evenly.  So let's take a look at NC State and Pitt who are both in the ACC.  NC State finished the season 23-10 overall with a conference record of 12-8.  In the all holy Net Rankings, they went 1-6 in Quad 1 games.  That's right, a single Quad 1 win for the Wolfpack.  Pitt went 4-4 in Quad 1 games.  

And yes, Pitt had some bad losses, including one down the stretch against Notre Dame.  But I don't like how in this new system of ranking college basketball teams, bad losses count an exponentially amount more than great wins.  It's a flawed system.  

Let's also consider that Pitt was blown out by Duke in the third round of the ACC Tournament.  I mean blown out.  But so was NC State.  By a Clemson team that missed the tournament.  At least we were blown out by a now 5th seeded Duke team who are now ranked 12th in the whole country.  

I will pause now and admit that Clemson has the bigger gripe against NC State than Pitt.  Clemson beat NC State three times this season, and none of the games were especially close.  And two of these blowouts were in the last 20 days. Clemson also finished 4-4 in Quad 1 games, and as mentioned above, beat NC State by 26 points just 5 days ago.  

Not to mention, Clemson finished with a higher seed in the final ACC standings and made it one round further in the ACC Tournament.  It's truly mind blowing to have NC State in the tournament and not Clemson.  Its egregious.

However, I'm a Pitt fan.  So I'm focusing on my team and how we were screwed by the committee.  Now Pitt has to play in a play-in game, with a potentially injured Fede Federiko, against a Mississippi State team that defends the 3-pointer and rebounds well.  Not a great matchup for Pitt.  

Ultimately, like I said, Clemson has a bigger gripe than us Pitt fans, but it's outrageous that NC State is seeded higher than the both of us.  I think Clemson should have the firm 11 seed, and Pitt is probably where they belong.  However, it's egregious that NC State is the team that landed us in the play-in.  NC State is not deserving of an NCAA Tournament bid.