N.C. State to play in Jimmy V Classic

jgiglio@newsobserver.comMay 2, 2012 

N.C. State's Mark Gottfried hugs C.J. Leslie (5) after N.C. State's 66-63 victory over Georgetown in the third round of the NCAA Tournament at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, Sunday, March 18, 2012.

ETHAN HYMAN — ehyman@newsobserver.com

For the second time in 18 years, N.C. State will play in the men’s basketball showcase named for its former coach. The Wolfpack will face Connecticut in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 4 in New York.

Jim Valvano coached at N.C. State for 10 seasons and led the Wolfpack to the 1983 national title. He died of cancer in 1993 and two years later, the Jimmy V Foundation and ESPN started the annual classic to raise money for the V Foundation and cancer research.

N.C. State’s sparse participation in the event has been a point of contention for some Wolfpack fans. N.C. State’s only other appearance in the V Classic came in Dec. 2002, a 69-60 loss to Gonzaga.

“We’re proud to participate in the Jimmy V Classic and it’s a reminder to all of us how special Coach Valvano was and continues to be to N.C. State,” Wolfpack athletic director Debbie Yow said Wednesday.

The Pack and Huskies will meet at 9 p.m. at New York’s Madison Square Garden in the second game of a doubleheader. Texas and Georgetown will play in the first game.

N.C. State returns four starters from a team that went 24-13 last season, coach Mark Gottfried’s first, and is being projected in the top 20 nationally for the 2012-13 season. UConn is rebuilding after a 20-14 follow-up to the 2011 national title and is ineligible for the 2013 NCAA tournament because of substandard Academic Progress Rate scores.

N.C. State’s nonconference schedule already included a spot in the Puerto Rico Tip-off in November and a home game with Stanford.

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