Our NC State vs Marist post-game entry is a fantastic one that is full of great current and historical comments. Click here to check it out.
At the bottom of the entry we took the time to update some links to major media outlets that recapped the evening’s events. One of the links was to an entry at ACCNow that deserved to be bronzed, let alone elevated to its own entry here at SFN.
It is a thing of beauty, and I’d like to personally thank the team at the N&O for putting it together.
The NIT’s not supposed to matter, the Not Important Tournament. Try telling that to N.C. State — its fans or its coach.
The Wolfpack returned one more time to Reynolds Coliseum on Friday night for a second-round game with Marist. The Old Barn was jammed. It was loud and State won. Just like when Sidney Lowe played at State.
When you listen to Lowe, who was coaching in the NBA when N.C. State moved from the on-campus facility to the State Fairgrounds in 1999, you can hear the preference in his voice for where his team should call home.
“There’s a difference when you have your place,” Lowe said without mentioning where N.C. State played all but one of its home games this season.
“It’s Reynolds,” Lowe said. “It’s all where it happened for me. Anyone that’s played in the ACC and played in this building against N.C. State, they’ll tell you it’s one of the toughest places to play in the country. It’s crazy in here.”
Crazy, and this for an NIT game. A tournament, on Friday and in this corner of the world, that mattered almost as much as the other one. It did for an N.C. State fan base that somehow had been accused of running the previous coach out of town. Eight thousand fans show up for an NIT game at 9:30. You tell me which had more passion — the previous coach or these fans?
There’s no doubt those fans are in the first full-fledged stages of love with Lowe, who has rallied a team that went 5-11 in the ACC to the championship game of the ACC Tournament and a 20-win season, thanks to two more in the NIT.
And to whom did Lowe, who, you know, did the actual coaching, give the credit to?
“The atmosphere showed tonight, without our crowd, this would have been a tough one,” Lowe said. “It was a tough game as it was but I think our crowd kept us in it.”