‘Bruised & Battered’ Wolfpack to Play Tuesday

Excuse me I don’t sound gracious…but the National Invitation Tournament did NC State NO favors this year as the bruised and battered Wolfpack gets a sixth seed and is required to travel to Philadelphia to play a game in less than 48 hours (on Tuesday). That will be five games in six days. The winner of Tuesday’s game plays Friday night at 9:30pm.

All college basketball teams are hurting in several limbs or another at this time of year. None more so than the N.C. State Wolfpack. All you had to do was glance around the State locker room on Sunday after the Pack had won three straight games in three days to advance to the ACC Tournament title game against North Carolina.

Junior Gavin Grant had ice on his left knee. Sophomore Ben McCauley had ice both on his left foot and his left quadricep. Brandon Costner iced down his right ankle.

Also senior guard Engin Atsur had an ice pack plastic-wrapped to his left hamstring. Atsur missed 12 games this season nursing the same hamstring.

“It doesn’t feel good at all,” Atsur said. “After four days and not much rest but we were playing the title game so I wasn’t thinking about that at all.”

The Wolfpack will play at Drexel at 8pm on ESPNU. The entire NIT bracket can be downloaded here.

Former NC State guard, Dominick Mejia is the starting shooting guard for the Drexel Dragons, who won 23 games overall and 13 in the Colonial Athletic Association this season. The Dragons put together an impressive resume of road wins that boosted their RPI into the low 40s with wins at Syracuse, Vllanova and Creighton. Drexel is coached by former UMass Head Coach, Bruiser Flint.

One could argue that State got hosed on both ends of the seeding — ESPN’s Jimmy Dykes commented on the selection show that he thought the Wolfpack should have been seeded higher while CM Newton was explicitly asked about how Drexel was a #3 seed considering most experts considered them #65 as the first team left out of the NCAA Tournament.

Some upsets will have to happen in our bracket for the Wolfpack to be lucky enough to host a home game. The better seed will be the host for every game of the Tournament until the Final Four takes place in New York City.

It should come as no surprise to you that GoPack didn’t have an announcement of this news until after 10:30pm on Sunday night. The complete comprehensive coverage that they provided is as follows:

Raleigh, N.C. – After its run to the ACC Championship game, NC State (18-15) has been invited to participate in the postseason NIT announced Monday night. The Wolfpack will be the No. 6 seed in the East Region, and will be traveling to the third-seeded Drexel (23-8) for its first round game. The game will be held Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN-U.

We’d like to thank all of the ‘illegitimate’ websites out there that don’t get paid to cover NC State and who manage to provide so much more value to the NC State community.

In closing, I will simply elevate ‘ShootingGuard’s’ comments since I could not agree more with them:

Hmmm. We played in The Super Bowl vs The Evil Empire in our 4th game in 4 days. So, for our 5th game in 6 days, we travel to play a no-name Drexel team in the “kiss your sister” tournament…

Gee, I don’t know, sounds like a pretty big letdown to me…

If they skipped a week and let the guys rest, this would be great practice preparation for next year, similar to going to one of the lesser tier bowl games.

As it is, this will probably be a short and worthless trip on the road to play a team that is pissed off and ready to take it out on a big conference team led by a player who will be extra motivated when he sees that NC State jersey…

Is it too late to say “thanks, but no thanks”?

If I were Sid, I would be tempted to market this as the “thanks to the scrubs” game and play Fergie, Albritton, Nieman, etc. the whole game—no matter the score—and just call it what it is: a worthless experience after what we laid on the table this weekend.

I would feel totally different about a home game where we could celebrate the guys’ efforts like we did in 1997 vs SWMS and WVA (as I remember).

Thanks, El Deano…

This is not a reward…

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06-07 Basketball General