Looking ahead at NC State's 2021-22 schedule: Challenge opponent revealed
NC State has already been mentioned in multiple college basketball scheduling reports for the 2021-22 season.
The latest addition: a report on who the Wolfpack will be playing in this year's ACC/Big 10 Challenge on Dec. 1. According to Jon Rothstein, NC State will be hosting Nebraska.
Here is an updated look ahead at what we know about NC State's 2021-22 schedule:
Nov. 9 vs. Bucknell
2020-21 Record: 5-7
Final NET Ranking: 225th
Final KenPom Ranking: 276th
• 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. 27 vs. Louisiana Tech
2020-21 Record: 24-8
Final NET Ranking: 71st
Final KenPom Ranking: 82nd
• 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.
Dec. 1 vs. Nebraska (ACC/Big Challenge)
2020-21 Record: 7-20
Final NET Ranking: 129th
Final KenPom Ranking: 109th
• 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
• 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
• 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 Richmond 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.