Back on Friday, North Carolina State released their non-conference schedule. This went largely unnoticed by most of the basketball universe, because most non-conference schedules are pointless unless you're a fan of that team.
But last night, Patrick Marshall from White & Blue Review pointed me towards the press release, and, well, it had something quite interesting.
NC State will travel to the home of the Brooklyn Nets, the Barclays Center, for a pair of games to close out the Legends Classic. The first game will be against Arizona State, which is coached by Bobby Hurley and has former Wolfpack player and Gottfried staffer Levi Watkins on staff. Arizona State, which returns two double-digit scorers in Savon Goodman (11.2 ppg) and Gerry Blakes (11.1 ppg) won 18 games last season and won a game in the NIT.
Depending on the results in Brooklyn, the Pack will take on either LSU or Marquette. A game against LSU would be a rematch of last season's epic NCAA Tournament match-up, when the Pack won on a last-second jump hook by BeeJay Anya. LSU returns guards Keith Hornsby and Tim Quarterman and added the nation's No. 3 recruiting class. Marquette signed a highly-regarded class after a transition season last year. Double-digit scorers Duane Wilson (11.9 ppg) and Luke Fischer (11.0 ppg) return.
WELL THEN. The Legends Classic said that the official lineup for the semifinals doubleheader in Brooklyn wouldn't be announced til sometime in August, but apparently the Wolfpack don't care about your rules, man. It's entirely possible (and by possible I mean likely) that the real reason for the wait is for ESPN to hammer down their TV schedule for November in order to figure out 1) what network that they'll put the tournament on and 2) what order they want the semifinals played.
This is actually the game I expected to see Marquette play. First, NC State and LSU played in the NCAA tournament last year, so that's the obvious choice to try to align for the final. Second, Marquette played Arizona State last year, so you would like to keep them apart. Third, if you can guarantee a game with a top 10 freshman on each team by putting it in the semifinals, you do it. That's what we'd get with LSU and Ben Simmons against Marquette and Henry Ellenson.
Of course, this is all unconfirmed news at this point, but hey, why would NC State lie to their fans?