One More Shot!

Gerry Broome, AP

On Jan 27, State’s men’s basketball team made the short trip to Chapel-Hill and knocked off the then 10th ranked team in the country, 95-91.  Sure, it took us overtime, but State was a big underdog, sitting at just 14-7 overall.  Until that night, the Pack had only won three times in the Dean Dome since 2000.  So, yeah; pretty impressive.

UNC exacted revenge on our home court, Feb 10, by a 98-89 margin that was closer than the final score indicates.  With just a minute and 34 seconds left in the game, State trailed by only two points. Then the Tar Heels got lucky, the refs cheated, and so on.

Perhaps that’s why State students are confident the Wolfpack would prevail in a potential ACC tournament matchup. Pack Poll asked a representative sample of students, both undergraduate and graduate, to predict which team would win if they met in the ACC tournament.  Overwhelmingly, State students say we’d win.  Overall, 63% said State would beat UNC, just 14% thought UNC would win, and 23% said they didn’t have an opinion (someone needs to learn these peeps!).

Not much about the background of students resulted in predictions that were different, except for one thing.  Self-identified Republicans were much more likely to say (know?) that State would win. While just 57% of self-identified Democrats said State would beat UNC, a whopping 79% of Republicans predicted a Wolfpack victory. To be fair, the main culprit for this optimism gap™ is that 26% of Democrats had no opinion, but only 10% of Republicans failed to express one.

As the men’s team continues to pick up steam (Hi Seminoles!), this is looking more and more this it could be one of those years where all is good and just in the world, and the kids at Chapel Hill can suck it.

NOTE ON METHODOLOGY:  This PackPoll took place February 22-25, 2018. We administered the survey over the internet to a random sample of 3,500 NCSU undergraduates and 3,500 NCSU graduate students. The true population of undergraduates and graduate students taking at least one face-to-face class on campus is 21,192 and 7,113, respectively. However, 44 students are minors and 814 more have privacy flags preventing contact, slightly reducing the population eligible to be sampled. Each student remaining in the population had an equal chance of being contacted because each student is required to have a unique “” email.

Of those invited to participate, 712 undergraduates and 731 graduate students completed the survey, a total of 1,443, resulting in a 21% response rate.  Assuming a 50-50 division in opinion calculated at a 95 percent confidence level, the margin of sampling error for the sample is (plus or minus) +/-2.5% for questions answered by the full sample. However, sampling error increases for each estimate when three or more choices were offered, for example, when fewer respondents were asked a version of a question, or when analyzing the opinions of sub-groups, such as when looking just at how female respondents answered a question.

The response rate for just the undergraduate student sample is 20%, and 21% for graduate students. Likewise, the margin of sampling error for describing the opinions of just undergraduates in this survey is +/-3.6%, while it is +/-3.4 for graduate students.

In addition to sampling error, other forms of non-sampling error occur in surveys, such as confusion about question wording or the order of questions, and non-response bias (low response rates), but these types of error are not precisely quantifiable.

We only apply post-stratification sample weights for student status when describing the opinions of “all” students.  Undergraduates comprise 75% of the student population, but just 49% of our sample, so weighting is necessary to accurately describe the views of all students. There is a slight under-representation of males in our undergraduate sample, but not enough to warrant further weighting of that population it would not produce noticeable effects on any of the results.

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