It’s a do-or-die year for North Carolina State. This statement is especially for the man in red, head coach Sidney Lowe. They brought in one of the nation’s best recruitment classes to play along side a veteran group.
All the pieces are there and the schedule, at least the non-conference portion of it, can only help this team add up some wins this year.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE’S 2010-2011 SCHEDULE
Forgetting about the one regular season tournament the Wolfpack will play in, they’re looking at 11 non-conference games this year. All will be played before they sniff the ACC. Of those 11, only three will be against what I call “BCS” schools. The rest are all home games against teams (Tennessee Tech, Fairleigh Dickinson, USC Upstate, Alabama A&M…you get the picture) that NC State should have zero problems turning into W’s.
Ironically NC State’s two toughest match ups are against Wisconsin (for the ACC/Big 10 Challenge) and Syracuse. The two games are scheduled back-to-back to start December and both are on the road.
They also will invite Arizona to Raleigh, but the Wildcats are not what they once were.
On top of that, State has accepted an invite to play in the Charleston Classic. As of this writing, the tournament still hasn’t booked all the teams needed, so I can’t tell you whom the Wolfpack will face. Besides NC State, Charlotte, East Carolina, George Mason, Wofford and Georgetown are also in.
No matter who signs up for that tournament, the fact is, this non-conference schedule is a bit on the weak side. The Wolfpack should be 12-3 heading into conference play.
Of course, the Wolfpack don’t get a lot of breaks playing in the ACC, so maybe I can’t blame them for taking it easy early. NC State must play both North Carolina and Duke twice, plus Wake Forest, Clemson and Florida State twice.
They’ll take on Virginia Tech only once, but that’s at home, which is nice. They travel to Boston College, Maryland and Virginia (without the return game home). Of the three, only Maryland looks to be a sure defeat.