Looking ahead at NC State Wolfpack basketball's 2021-22 schedule
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Looking ahead at NC State's 2021-22 schedule: Another Power Five opponent

NC State has already been mentioned in multiple college basketball scheduling reports for the 2021-22 season.

The latest addition: news of an in-season tournament to be played at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. The four-team event will also include Oklahoma State, whom the Pack will play, plus UMass Lowell and Central Connecticut State.

Oklahoma State joins Purdue and Nebraska as known Power Five opponents on the Wolfpack's schedule, and the two neutral site games gives NC State at least four during the regular season.

Here is an updated look ahead at what we know about NC State's 2021-22 schedule:

NC State Wolfpack basketball Jericole Hellems
Junior forward Jericole Hellems will be top returning scorer on NC State in 2021-22. (USA Today Sports)

Nov. 9 vs. Bucknell 

2020-21 Record: 5-7

Final NET Ranking: 225th

Final KenPom Ranking: 276th

Quick Facts:

• Bucknell finished in second place of the central division in the 2020-21 Patriot League regular-season standings.

• NC State won the only head-to-head meeting between the two schools. The Wolfpack defeated the Bison 99-86 on Dec. 5, 2015, in PNC Arena.

• Bucknell last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2018 with an automatic bid from winning the Patriot League conference tournament. The Bison earned a No. 14 seed and lost to third-seeded Michigan State 82-78.

Nov. 16 vs. Central Connecticut State (Hall of Fame Showcase at Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Conn.)

2020-21 Record: 5-16

Final NET Ranking: 310th

Final KenPom Ranking: 345th

Quick Facts:

• The Blue Devils opened last season with a 27-point loss to Connecticut in its most notable opponent.

• Central Connecticut State was led by senior guard Obidiah Noel, who averaged 21.4 points per game.

• Will be first ever meeting between two teams.

Nov. 17 vs. Oklahoma State (Hall of Fame Showcase at Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Conn.)

2020-21 Record: 21-9

Final NET Ranking: 28th

Final KenPom Ranking: 33rd

Quick Facts:

• Oklahoma State made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season before falling to upstart Oregon State.

• The Cowboys were led by superstar freshman guard Cade Cunningham, expected to be the top overall pick in this year's NBA Draft.

• Oklahoma State returns all of its other primary starters from last season outside of Cunningham.

• Cowboys are 2-0 all-time against NC State, most recently defeating the Wolfpack in 2012.

Nov. 27 vs. Louisiana Tech

2020-21 Record: 24-8

Final NET Ranking: 71st

Final KenPom Ranking: 82nd

Quick Facts:

• Louisiana Tech finished first in the Conference USA West division with a 12-4 conference mark but lost in the second round of the league's tournament.

• They received a bid to the NIT and made a run to the semifinals before losing to Mississippi State and then defeated Colorado State to finish third.

• They are expected to return three of its four double-digit scorers from last season.

• In the calendar year of 2021, NC State will have faced Louisiana Tech in baseball, basketball and football. The last time the Pack faced them in hoops was a State win in 2014.

Dec. 1 vs. Nebraska (ACC/Big Challenge)

2020-21 Record: 7-20

Final NET Ranking: 129th

Final KenPom Ranking: 109th

Quick Facts:

• NC State senior guard Thomas Allen played two seasons at Nebraska before transferring to the Wolfpack.

• The Cornhuskers return three starters, including second-leading scorer Trey McGowens, a former Pittsburgh guard. Leading scorer Teddy Allen however transferred to New Mexico State.

• McGowens' younger brother Bryce was a five-star signing for Nebraska in the 2021 class.

• Former Pack assistant Bobby Lutz had worked for Nebraska since 2019 as a special assistant before stepping down this offseason.

Dec. 12 vs. Purdue (Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.)

2020-21 Record: 18-10

Final NET Ranking: 29th

Final KenPom Ranking: 25th

Quick Facts:

• Purdue finished fourth in the 2020-21 Big Ten regular-season standings. The Boilermakers went on to lose to Ohio State 87-78 in overtime in the Big Ten Tournament.

• Purdue earned a No. 4 seed with an at-large bid in the 2021 NCAA Tournament but was upset by 13th-seeded North Texas 78-69 in the first round.

• NC State is 4-1 all-time against Purdue, but the Boilermakers won the most recent meeting. Purdue defeated the Wolfpack 66-61 in West Lafayette on Dec. 2, 2014 in the ACC-Big Ten Tournament.

• Purdue is an early consensus pick to be in the preseason top 10 in 2021-22. In ESPN's way-too-early preseason top 25 rankings, the Boilermakers are No. 6. Head coach Matt Painter is expected to to return his top eight scorers from last season, headlined by first-team All-Big Ten big man Trevion Williams, who entered the 2021 NBA Draft but is predicted to return to college.

Dec. 17 vs. Richmond (Spectrum Center, Charlotte, N.C.)

2020-21 Record: 14-9

Final NET Ranking: 68th

Final KenPom Ranking: 65th

Quick Facts:

Richmond finished eighth in the 2020-21 Atlantic 10 regular season standings with a 6-5 conference record.

• The Spiders had an eerily similar postseason to the Wolfpack earlier this year. Richmond lost its first-round matchup in the Atlantic 10 Tournament 67-62 to Duquesne. The Spiders earned a No. 2 seed in the NIT, where they defeated third-seeded Toledo 76-66 in the first round but lost to fourth-seeded Mississippi State 68-67 in the quarterfinals.

• NC State is 4-0 all-time against Richmond. The Wolfpack last defeated the Spiders 84-72 in PNC Arena on Nov. 26, 2014.


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