Go ahead and make your travel plans for New York in early December because Debbie Yow and Mark Gottfried continue to deliver dreams to NC State fans that we feared were lost along with our national basketball relevance! Link
Texas coach Rick Barnes and NC State coach Mark Gottfried confirmed Jimmy V Classic matchups for Tuesday, Dec. 4 at Madison Square Garden. Texas will play Georgetown and NC State will play Connecticut. Texas has a terrific schedule again with an appearance in the Maui Invitational, hosting North Carolina (meaning the Tar Heels and Longhorns will be in opposite brackets in Maui), play UCLA in Houston and traveling to Michigan State.
NC State is the headline team in Puerto Rico in November, hosts Stanford and possibly will get Michigan in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on the road. The ACC is going to 18-league games next season, too, which improves the Wolfpack schedule with two games against Duke and Florida State as well as North Carolina.
In addition to all of the obvious things to LOVE about playing in the Jimmy V Classic, I particularly like THIS specific game for us as we get to play a national name, Big East opponent in a year that they should be pretty bad, or at least not nearly as good as their annual reputation.
NC State doesn’t necessarily ‘need’ another ‘Top 20’ style opponent next season as the blend of our pre-season ranking, ACC slate and overall scheduling difficulty (just with the names mentioned in the aforementioned quote) is more than acceptable. So, having the opportunity to be positioned to WIN a big game on the big stage over a big name couldn’t be more welcome!!
I guess we should look at the Jimmy V Classic like this — NC State defeated both Texas and Georgetown on neutral floors last season. So, their game is kind of the ‘losers bracket’ and we’ve already advanced to what we can call the championship 🙂
You can rest assured that there is NO WAY that I won’t personally be sitting Madison Square Garden on December 4th. In fact, SFN may even work host an event in the city around the game.
It has long been one of my ‘bucket list’ dreams to watch the Wolfpack on the MSG floor where I had one of the biggest emotional experiences of my life shortly after September 11, 2001 when the New York Rangers honored the New York Fire & Police Departments. I’ve lived in New York, worked in New York, met my wife in New York, got engaged in Central Park, and did my first big M&A deal with a company in the city. Now, I get to watch my Wolfpack play in perhaps the greatest venue in the country (other than Reynolds Coliseum, of course).
What can I say other than, THANK YOU to Debbie Yow and Mark Gottfried!