Aug 15, 2012, 11:49 PM EDT
For years now, N.C. State fans have chafed under the view that they are the little brother of Tobacco Road hoops. As much as everyone loves the Jim Valvano story, the methodical, frequently successful pursuit of Final Fours and national titles has been largely the province of Duke and UNC.
Herb Sendek was a fairly successful leader for the team, taking the Wolfpack to the NCAA tournament five times between 2002 and 2006. That wasn’t really good enough for the brass in Raleigh, who opted for the Sidney Lowe experience (officially termed the Sidney Lowe Mediocre Era by some wag on Wikipedia) and an annual backseat in the ACC for the next five seasons.
The Mark Gottfried hire may not have seemed like a big deal at the time, but the former head man at Murray State and Alabama made it look like a cinch, taking talent largely recruited by Lowe and making the Sweet Sixteen in his first season.
One year later, N.C. State is back in the limelight. The ESPN College Gameday crew will set up in PNC Arena for the first time ever when the Tar Heels make the short drive to Raleigh on January 26, 2013. Barring a complete regression to the mean, the Wolfpack appear to be on track to become a major player in the hoped-for tripartite rivalry the Research Triangle has yielded in the past.
That could be a good thing for the ACC, the state of North Carolina, and for college hoops fans in general.
- Green Bay will retain head coach Brian Wardle 1
- Coach K: ACC will be ‘best conference in the history of the game’ 3
- Bringing in ex-Gator Cody Larson worth the risk South Dakota State 0
- FBI: San Diego point-shaving scandal netted ‘more than $120,000′ 3
- Pressure mounting on Texas head coach Rick Barnes? 0
- Report: Baylor coach told Griner not to talk about her sexuality (13)
- Report: Kevin Stallings blocks Sheldon Jeter’s transfer to Pitt (5)
- Kentucky phenoms choose 2013-14 preparation over other possibilities (4)
- Coach K: ACC will be ‘best conference in the history of the game’ (4)
- Duke signee Semi Ojeleye named Parade Magazine Player of the Year (3)
- Watch LIVE: Pens-Sens, Game 5
- Tiger, LeBron and bids to be the best that ever lived
- PBT: Pacers must take back paint to beat Heat
- HBT: A-Rod sells Miami home for $30 million
- PST: Key battles for Champions League final
- Struggling Blackhawks on brink of elimination
- PHT: Wings push Blackhawks to brink | Highlights