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2012 Puerto Rico Tip-Off: NC State Faces Penn State In First Round

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It's very important that you be taller!
It's very important that you be taller!

We know what one half of the 2012 Puerto Rico Tip-Off bracket looks like, thanks to Mark Gottfried:

Gottfried said N.C. State will face Penn State in the Puerto Rico opener, then play either UMass or Providence, which signed top-25 recruits Ricardo Ledo and Kris Dunn from the Class of 2012. Tennessee, a team with top-25 potential, could be a championship game opponent.

That leaves Oklahoma State, Akron, and UNC-Asheville on the other side of the bracket along with the Volunteers.

State's side includes a trio of teams that were young in 2012 and thus return mostly intact this season. While I can't see the Nittany Lions having enough to upset State in that first game, the semifinals likely will be a challenge, whether it's UMass or Providence. That UMass team should improve by a few wins and compete for an A-10 regular season title, while Providence has the big time recruiting class mentioned above.

The semifinals game could be a lot of fun either way, too. UMass ranked third in tempo in 2012 while the average-paced Friars were terrible at the defensive end but pretty effective scorers. The Friars also did not address their lack of interior size with their incoming class, so they are gonna be like the lollipop guild running around out there.