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NC State men’s basketball will open 2021-22 season against Bucknell

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Bucknell v Michigan State Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Seems NC State has both a season start date and an opening opponent set. Jon Rothstein reported Monday that the Pack will begin its season on Nov. 9 in PNC Arena against Bucknell.

Not that it’s a surprise, but this is evidence that scheduling practices have returned to normal, with the expectation that schools will be able to travel and play more standard non-conference slates. That sure sounds good to me.

Bucknell is typical buy-game fare, which is to say that it has not been much good of late, but the Bison probably won’t be the type of bad that completely kills State’s strength of schedule. The Bison finished the shortened 2021 season at 5-7 overall, narrowly missing a bowl appearance. Wait, that’s not right.

The Bison finished at No. 276 in the Pomeroy Ratings, but how well can you really pinpoint a team that played a dozen games, all within its league (four against Lehigh!), with a month-long COVID-19 shutdown mixed in there?

Generally the Bison have been a good Patriot League team, most recently making the NCAAs in 2018. NC State last played Bucknell in 2016, a 99-86 Wolfpack win in Raleigh.