Damn, I missed like a lot of stuff! Sorry, but real life took over for a few weeks, with work being REALLY busy right now as well as me getting constant invitations to things (which almost never happens BTW). This is always a hard time of year anyway, what with football AND basketball going on at the same time (the other will be in March when lacrosse starts and basketball will (hopefully) be making a deep NCAA run). And this is the hardest year, what with me having to do the first writeup for all the Big East teams. But now, we step out into ACC-land and face a storied but fallen basketball program trying to bring its way back up to the top.
History: NC State is North Carolina's Land Grant college, and was founded in 1887, when state farmers and manufacturers were pissed off at the supposed elitism coming from the almost century old school northwest of it (read: UNC) and said that UNC didn't meet the qualifications for a Land Grant school. So the state assembly chartered the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts and gave it the land grant endowment. The school was built in Raleigh. The oldest building on campus was finished in 1888 and is still standing (Holladay Hall). By 1918 the school reached an enrollment of 700 and changed its name to the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering. By 1929 enrollment reached 2000. During the Depression, the State College was consolidated with all other state schools, including UNC. After World War II, the GI Bill saw enrollment increase to 5000 students. In 1962, the faculty and students wanted to change the name of the school to NC State, but the establishment wanted it to be called UNC-Raleigh. In 1965 the faculty and students won and the school name was changed to North Carolina State University at Raleigh, but the "at Raleigh" is almost never said. Enrollment topped 10K for the first time in 1966 and in 1987 began development of its Centennial Campus.
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina. This is the state's capital and a part of the Research Triangle that includes the nearby cities of Durham and Chapel Hill (guess why). It probably would've been a "Research Quadrilateral" considering the city of Wake Forest is also nearby (but that school packed its bags for Greensboro at some point). Raleigh was named for Sir Walter Raleigh who founded the Colony of Roanoke, in 1792, as the county seat for Wake County and the capital of the state. Andrew Johnson is a native of this city and in 1840 the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad Company was established. Bloomsbury Park opened in 1912. After LA and New York, Raleigh has the third biggest film industry in the country.
Academics: There are over 23K undergrads at NC State, and about 7.6K grads. The school is ranked 111th by US News, and has schools of Engineering, Design, Education, Agriculture & Life Science, Humanities and Social Science, Management, Natural Resources, Physics and Mathematical Science, Veterinary Medicine, and Textiles and even a program in Paper Engineering. Considering the ACC has an academic reputation, beyond the Textiles and Paper Engineering sectors, it's rather sad.
Notable Alumni: NC State gave us the plasma screen TV, or at least its inventor, Donald Blitzer. Science Fiction writer John Kessel also went to NC State. In politics, the infamous John Edwards, as well as Obama's press secretary Robert Gibbs went to NC State. So did James Owens, the CEO of Caterpillar. John Tesh, composer of the greatest sports anthem of all time, studied at NC State. Our Babe this week is Jill Wagner, one of Maxim's 100 hottest women.
Pageantry: NC State, originally being an A&M college, was originally known as the Farmers, the Aggies, and the Red Terrors. But in 1922, an angry fan said ths students "behaved like a wolfpack." The name stuck, even through 1945, when there was a vote to change the name again because the Wolfpack was commonly used to refer to the Nazi subarines. Currently, only one other college - Loyola-New Orleans, calls itself the Wolfpack (another school, Nevada, calls itself the "Wolf Pack" (two words)). NC State's colors are red and white, and the block S was adopted in 1890 but became the only logo in use in 2000. You can distinguish it from Syracuse's by having a shorter thickness and the letters "NC" on top of it (and, of course, the color). The school has two costumed mascots, Mr. and Mrs. Wulf (since 1960), as well as a live mascot named Tuffy.
NC State's fight song is basically a sped up version of "The Army Goes Rolling Along." The lyrics were written by Hardy Ray.
Shout aloud to the men,
Who will play the game to win.
We're behind you,
Keep fighting for State.
Hold that line,
Hold them fast,
We will reach victory at last
We're behind you
Keep fighting for State.
Rise up to the fray,
And let your colors wave,
Shout out for dear old NC State
For where e'er we go,
We will let the whole world know,
We're behind you,
Keep fighting for State.
Athletics: NC State was a charter member of the Southern Conference in 1921, but in 1952, they were fed up (along with other schools) with the league's ban on postseason play. As a result, the ACC was establishedin 1953, with NC State being one of seven charter members.
NC State began playing basketball in 1911, and are in the top 25 all time in wins. The program struggled at first, but in 1924 they hired Gus Tebell, who guided NC State to its first 20 win season and first conference championship, as well as the best record of any coach. In 1946, they hired Everett "The Old Grey Fox" Case and won six consecutive SoCon tournaments from 1947 to 1952. In 1960 Norm Sloan was hired as the head coach, who ran a pair of seasons in which they'd only have one loss: a regular season loss to UCLA in the 1973-74 campaign. The Wolfpack was banned from the 1973 NCAA tournament due to recruiting violations with star David Thompson (other stars at the time included Tommy Burleson, Monte Towe, and TIm Stoddard). In 1974, however, they won their first NC. Upon his retirement, the legendary Jim Valvano (who we will be playing in a tournament honoring) was hired in 1980 and won an NC in 1983, but first they had to get past a difficult Houston team which, at the time, was led by the Phi Slamma Jamma crew (Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler) off an impromptu rebound of an air ball. Dereck Whittenberg missed a 35 footer that was reboudned by Lorenzo Charles and put back in the final seconds. Overall, the school amassed six SoCon regular season titles (1947-51 and 1953), seven ACC regular season titles (1955, 1956, 1959, 1973, 1974, 1985, and 1989), seven SoCon tournament titles (1929 and 1947-52), ten ACC tournament titles (1954-56, 1959, 1966, 1970, 1973-74, 1983, 1987), 22 NCAA tournament appearances (1950-52, 1954, 1956, 1965, 1970, 1974, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985-89, 1991, 2002-06), nine Sweet Sixteens (1954, 1965, 1970, 1974, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1989, 2005), six Elite Eights (1950, 1951, 1974, 1983, 1985, 1986), the 1950, 1974, and 1983 Final Fours, and a NC during each of their last two Final Four appearances. They play in RBC Arena and are coached by Sidney Lowe.
NC State's football program was established in 1892 in pink and blue jerseys, and began playing UNC in 1894, losing both times. Their best period was in 1967, during a time when they beat then #18 Florida State and then #2 Houston in back to back weeks, and then won the Liberty Bowl over Georgia 14-7 (they lost to Penn State and Clemson that year though), and in 2002 under Chuck Amato, the school won 11 times for the first time. They won three South Atlantic IAA titles (1907. 1910, and 1913), one SoCon title (1927), and seven ACC titles (1957, 1963-65, 1968, 1973, 1979). They have played in a lot of bowls, including seven Peach Bowls, three Liberty Bowls, three Gator Bowls, two Tangerine Bowls, and many minor Bowls.
From 1973-1982, NC State had a lacrosse team. They made one NCAA tournament in 1979 under all-american Stan Cockerton. Let's hope they bring it back; the ACC needs two more teams for an auto-bid to the tournament (as if the four teams with programs don't just get at-larges evey year). During this NCAA appearance they lost in the opening round to Slopkins.
Rival: Though it lacks the fanfare and pageantry of a certain other Tobacco Road rivalry, NC State has a long history with UNC. Pranks are an important part of this rivalry, being as the two schools are 20 miles apart, with NC State's Free Expression Tunnel being painted Carolina Blue and the UNC water fountains being painted red. NC State's student newspaper, the Technician, runs a spoof newspaper called the Daily Tar Hell right before basketball games, and the Technician often plays a football scrimmage with the Daily Tar Heel staff. UNC leads the all time basketball series 142-75 as well as the football record 63-31-6. NC State also maintains rivalries with the other Tobacco Road schools as well as East Carolina.
Outlook: NC State is young and talented. Considering they got blown out in Charleston by John Thompson's band of hooligans and in Wisconsin, they've been underachieving. They would like nothing more than to come into Syracuse and piss us off. Hopefully we'll be playing the up-tempo game that we've been playing recently and minimize turnovers in order to keep us winning. Rick Jackson will hopefully keep his double-double streak going, and let's see if Dion Waites and CJ Fair will have breakout games. Go Orange!