Northwestern will play North Carolina State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, per Joe Giglio of the Charlotte Observer:
N.C. State draws Northwestern in the Big Ten Challenge, will be a Triangle homecoming for new NU coach Chris Collins— Joe Giglio (@jwgiglio) May 8, 2013
That makes it seem like a road game, which is nice for the RPI. Remember the Las Vegas Invitational?
Northwestern had a RECORD four-game win streak snapped in 2012 by Maryland, whom I had foolishly maligned when news of the pairings broke, so, I won't do that this time around.
However, it is worth noting that NC State in 2013-2014 is going to be a very different squad than the offensively elite squad that earned a No. 8 seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown, the squad's two best scorer and an elite point guard, both left the school early for the NBA. Richard Howell and three-point specialist Scott Wood graduate. Freshman forward Rodney Purvis is transferring to UConn. That's five of their top six scorers, leaving only rising sophomores T.J. Warren and Tyler Lewis.
They'll still be good - Warren was a double-digit scorer, and they bring in three (three) four-star recruits. But they'll be a squad trying to figure things out without much experience at the point of the year they face Northwestern.
The last time these squads played was in 2009, when the Wildcats won in Raleigh behind 22 from Juice Thompson. NU's also lost three times to the Wolf Pack, so temper expectations.
On the plus side, IF WE DIE IN RALEIGH, AT LEAST WE WILL DIE FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE