34 days until the ACC: A look at N.C. State
One of the most exciting things about joining a new conference, particularly the ACC, is the great schools which Pitt will now be facing as opponents. One such school is North Carolina State University, a member of the ACC since its founding in 1953. N.C. State is located in Raleigh, in the heart of so-called "Tobacco Road", and has an enrollment of approximately 34,000 students. Known as the Wolfpack, the football team plays its home games at Carter-Finley Stadium. Like Pitt does for football, N.C. State basketball shares a pro facility, calling PNC Arena (also the home of the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes) home.
Pitt already has a bit of history with N.C. State. In football, the teams have met nine times with the Panthers leading the series 5-3-1. Most recently, the teams clashed in 2009 when Pitt suffered a fourth quarter meltdown and lost to the Wolfpack 38-31. I was there for whatever that's worth. Pitt and N.C. State sort of met again, this time indirectly, over the off-season when defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable left Paul Chryst's staff to take the same job with the Wolfpack. They play in the Atlantic division so they will not face Pitt regularly in football.
In basketball, the history is more scarce. The most notable matchup came in 1974 when Pitt lost in the Elite Eight to eventual national champion N.C. State, 100-74. This coming season, however, the Panthers will face the Wolfpack twice giving the two squads more familiarity with one another.
Raleigh will definitely be a road trip I do a few more times.