N.C. State Wolfpack (13-7, 4-3) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (18-2, 6-1) – 6:30pm @ PNC Arena | Tv: EspnU
After two consecutive road contests, the Wolfpack return home this evening with a huge opportunity to notch another quality win. N.C. State went 1-1 on their recent road swing, picking up a crucial road win against improving FSU and missing an opportunity for a big win at Miami.
A win tonight against a resurgent Irish squad would give the Pack another RPI Top 50 win and considerably bolster N.C. State’s at-large resume. The Wolfpack are squarely on the proverbial bubble heading into February, so each result from here out will be magnified in importance. For the Pack, it’ll be the cliche ‘one game at a time’ mantra starting tonight as the upcoming stretch of games will help decide their postseason fate.
Notre Dame enters tonight’s contest in midst of a solid turnaround season thus far. The return of guard Jerian Grant to the roster has helped Notre Dame rebound from a down ’13-’14 campaign. Their non-conference schedule didn’t do much for their strength of schedule, but they did pick up a nice neutral court win over Michigan State. The Irish also own a great victory in conference play by virtue of winning at the Cheat Dome. Even with those impressive victories and a Top 10 national ranking, Notre Dame is two spots behind N.C. State in the RPI. Never underestimate the value of scheduling as it pertains to college basketball.
The Irish make their hay from the perimeter, so stout defense and rebounding will be key for a Wolfpack victory tonight.