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Villanova is the First No. 1 Seed to Fall. What's Next For NC State?

Author:
Jay Wright

Jay Wright

If your bracket wasn’t already toast, it might be now.

Villanova became the first No. 1 seed to lose in the NCAA Tournament, losing to an eight-seeded NC State 71-68.

The Wildcats are the 17th No. 1 seed since 1985 to fail to reach the Sweet 16. Last season, undefeated Wichita State lost to Kentucky in the round of 32, and before that Gonzaga lost in the round of 32 to Wichita State.

Even by upset standards, this one was weird. 

Villanova was one of the best offensive teams in the country during the season, ranking fourth in offensive efficiency on KenPom.

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Villanova couldn’t buy a basket in the lane as NC State outscored the Wildcats 34-14 in the paint. Villanova shot 10-of-33 (30.3 percent) from 2-point range — compared to 53 percent during the season. The Wildcats were 9-of-28 from 3-point range (32.1 percent) against NC State — after shooting 38.9 percent during the regular season. 

Meanwhile, NC State needed LSU to miss its last 12 shots from the floor for a one-point win in the round of 64. Two days later, the Wolfpack led a 33-win team for the entire second half.

So what might this mean for next week for the Wolfpack?

Each of the last 8/9 seeds that upset a No. 1 advanced at least to the Final Four (2014 Kentucky, 2013 Wichita State and 2011 Butler). Of the 16 Nos. 8-9 seeds to reach the Sweet 16, the same number of them reached the Final Four as lost in the Sweet 16.

NC State wasn’t the most predictable team during the season. The Wolfpack beat Duke at home and Louisville and North Carolina on the road. NC State ended up a No. 8 seed by losing at home to Wofford and Clemson and on the road to Wake Forest and Boston College.

Those neutral courts, though, have been good to NC State.

*coached by Mark Gottfried