Report: State to Host Season-Opening Basketball Event

Brett Friedlander

NC State's basketball schedule is still up in the air just one month before the expected start of the 2020-21 season.

But at least some of its is starting to come into focus.

According to a report by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, the Wolfpack will host its own season opening, multi-team event from nov. 25-27. Citing sources, Rothestein reports that Charleston Southern, Eastern Kentucky and North Florida will be the other team's participating, presumably at PNC Arena.

Eastern Kentucky is coached by A.W. Hamilton, a former assistant to State coach Kevin Keatts.

"We’re continuing to work with our schedule," the fourth-year coach said during his team's virtual media day last week. "I know a lot of you guys are going to want to know where we are with scheduling. Obviously, when the NCAA moved the date back when we can start, it’s kind of thrown us off a little bit. We’ve had to reschedule and do some different stuff."

The season was originally supposed to start on Nov. 10, but was pushed back to the day before Thanksgiving because of questions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and the extension of football season into mid-December.

In addition to adjusting the schedule, the NCAA Division I Council also changed the maximum number of games a team can -- reducing it by four to to 24 plus one multiple-team event. The minimum number of games allowed to be considered for postseason play was reduced by 50% to just 13 games.

State was supposed to play in the high-profile 2020 Empire Classic at New York's Madison Square Garden along with Baylor, Michigan and Villanova on Nov. 19-20, with at least one premiliary game played at home.

But the Wolfpack opted out of the event when it was moved to the Mohegan Sun resort in Connecticut on November 25-26. State was replaced in the field by ACC rival Boston College.

The only other known nonconference games on the Wolfpack's original schedule were a matchup against Radford on Dec 12 and one against American University on an unspecified date.

State's ACC 20-game ACC slate will include home-and-home games with North carolina, Wake Forest, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Virginia, home games against Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia Tech, and road contests at Clemson, Florida State, Louisville and Notre Dame.

Obviously, we know these are different times. I think we all have had to adjust to it," Keatts said. "That being said ... I’m really excited about our guys."

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