Georgia Tech’s loss to N.C State on Tuesday night comes at the worst time for the Yellow Jacket’s and puts them in the corner when it comes to making the NCAA Tournament.
When Quinton Stephen last three point attempt failed to fall, the Yellow Jackets suffered their worst loss of the season. Not the worst in the sense of losing by 20 or more points or just having a bad game. But in the sense that they lost to an N.C State Wolfpack team that had lost each of their last seven and had just a 3-12 record in ACC play.
According to TeamRankings.com, the Yellow Jackets had a 10% chance of making the NCAA tournament following their big win over Syracuse. However, on Wednesday morning, those chances are now at 2.1%. The Yellow Jackets have just three games left this season, and two of the three are on the road. Even if the Yellow Jackets win their three remaining regular season games, their chance of making the tournament will be just a mere 10.0%. In order to have a realistic chance of making it to the dance, the Jackets will need about 21 wins. That means, the Jackets will need to make a strong run in the ACC tournament to have any chance.
Those three remaining games are against Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse. The Yellow Jackets have already defeated Notre Dame and Syracuse at home. But when facing a team for a second time this season, the Jackets are 0-2 losing to Clemson and N.C Sate.
On the road this season, the Jackets are 2-8 on the road this season and traveling to South Bend or Syracuse won’t be easy tasks by any stretch. Especially with Notre Dame looking to increase their seeding in the NCAA tournament and the Orange finding them in a similar situation as the Yellow Jackets.
The Yellow Jackets will most likely be the underdogs when facing Notre Dame and Syracuse which doesn’t spell good news either as they are 2-8 as road underdogs this season. One piece of good news out of the remaining schedule, is they will get to face Pittsburgh at home, a team that has struggled mightily this season. The Yellow Jackets when the favorites this year on 4-1, the only loss coming to N.C State.
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With all that being said, the Yellow Jackets will have plenty of rest between Tuesday night’s loss and their game against Notre Dame next Sunday. When having four or more days off in between games this season, the Yellow Jackets are undefeated posting a 4-0 record. With more than four days between the N.C State and Notre Dame games as well the Pittsburgh and Syracuse, the Jackets could be in a great situation with that being said.
However, if Josh Pastner’s squad can pull off another upset against Notre Dame, they’ll have to turn it around quick facing Pittsburgh next Tuesday. If the Jackets are not careful, next weeks game against Pittsburgh could be a replicate of their loss to N.C State especially when considering they’ll also be traveling following the Notre Dame game back to Atlanta.
The only thing for certain is the Yellow Jackets truly can’t afford to lose another game during the regular season. With a deep ACC run being made, losing another game would almost force the Yellow Jackets to need to make a run to the ACC Championship game. With such events unlikely, the next three games and the opening round of the ACC tournament, will mean everything for Georgia Tech’s tournament hopes. One more loss however and they can kiss their NCAA tournament hopes goodbye.