ONE FOR THE THUMB
This marks the fifth consecutive year that NC State has earned an invitation to compete in the NCAA men's basketball championship, making the Wolfpack just one of 15 teams nationally with that distinction.
The five-year run marks only the second time in NC State's storied basketball history that the Pack has advanced to the 'Big Dance' for five straight years. Jim Valvano took his squads dancing from 1985-89.
NC State is making its 22nd overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Wolfpack posts an all-time record of 31-20 in the "Big Dance" and has gone 26-19 not counting consolation games (since 1976).
NC STATE ENJOYS SUCCESS AS 10th SEED
This season marks just the second time in the Wolfpack's 22 trips to the NCAA Tournament that NC State has been the 10th seed. That seeding ties as the second-lowest ever for the Pack. However, last season, which was the first time the Wolfpack was ever seeded 10th, NC State knocked off the number seven seed (Charlotte) and the number-two seed (UConn) en route to the Sweet Sixteen.
THE PACK VERSUS THE SEVENTH SEED
NC State has never lost a game against a team seeded seventh in the NCAA Tournament. Last season, the Wolfpack knocked off Charlotte in the first round in Worcester, Mass. NC State defeated Iowa State in the Regional semifinals in 1986 and seventh-seeded Alabama in the regional semifinals in 1985.
WOLVES AND BEARS REPEAT FIRST ROUND MATCHUP
NC State and California are not strangers to each other in NCAA Tournament action. The ninth-seeded Wolfpack lost to the eighth-seeded Bears, 74-76, in overtime in the 2003 first round in Oklahoma City.
That game marked the fifth overtime game the Wolfpack has played in NCAA Tournament action. Senior forward Cameron Bennerman is the only current Wolfpack player who saw action in that contest, as Ilian Evtimov redshirted that season with a knee injury and senior Tony Bethel was playing at Georgetown.
Bennerman played 14 minutes, hitting one of his three attempts from the field for two points. He also pulled down a pair of rebounds.
California is the fourth team that NC State has faced multiple times in NCAA Tournament action. The Wolfpack has played multiple NCAA tourney games against St. John's (0-3), Iowa (2-1) and Connecticut (1-1).
NC State is 2-1 all-time when facing a team a second time in the NCAA Tournament, including topping second-seeded and defending National Champion UConn last season in the two schools second go-around in NCAA Tournament play last season.
LONE STAR TRAVELS
The trip to Dallas will mark only the third time that NC State's men's basketball team has played a game in the state of Texas. The Pack is currently 1-1 in its trips to the Lone Star State, losing at SMU in 1989 and winning at Houston in 2002.
NC State posts a 23-4 mark all-time against teams from the state of Texas, while Herb Sendek posts an 8-0 record against such teams during his tenure with the Wolfpack.
FIRST ROUND SUCCESS UNDER SENDEK
NC State has enjoyed success in the first round of postseason tournaments under Herb Sendek. In ACC Tournament action, the Pack has won eight of its 10 opening games, posting an 8-2 mark. Among coaches who have been in the ACC for at least 10 years, that .800 winning mark ranks second only to Duke's Vic Bubas, who was 10-0 in ACC Tournament openers from 1960-69 and Gary Williams, who also went 8-2 in his first 10 ACC openers.
Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame coaches Dean Smith (UNC), Everett Case (NC State) and Frank McGuire (UNC and USC) were all 7-3.
In the NCAA Tournament, Sendek has led NC State to a 3-1 mark in the first round, with the only loss coming to Cal, this year's first-round opponent, in the 2003 event.
In NIT action, Sendek's Wolfpack squads have gone 4-0 in the first game.
NC STATE AGAINST THE 2006 NCAA FIELD
The Wolfpack has played nine games this season against the 2006 NCAA Tournament field, facing a total of seven teams that qualified - three from the ACC and four non-conference opponents. The Pack has posted a 3-6 record against those teams this season, 2-3 on the road and 1-3 at home.
Seven other opponents from this season made the NIT field, seven from the ACC and Notre Dame. Last season, NC State played 12 games against the NCAA Tournament field, and in 2004 played 16 games against teams making the tourney. NC State had just nine games against NCAA teams entering the 2002-03 and 2001-02 tournaments.
(In 2000-01, the Pack played 19 games against the field but did not advance to the NCAA Tournament).
PACK COACHES SUCCESSFUL IN TOURNAMENT PLAY
NC State has had six different coaches lead the Pack into the NCAA Tournament and every one of the six has posted at least a .500 record in tournament play. That includes current head coach Herb Sendek, who is now 4-4 in NCAA Tournament games at NC State. Overall, NC State is 31-20 in NCAA tournament play, a 61 percent winning percentage.
Everett Case was 6-6 in his career in NCAA Tournament games, while Press Maravich was 1-1, Norm Sloan 5-2, Jim Valvano 14-6, and Les Robinson 1-1.
NC State is one of eight schools to have every coach in its history have at least a .500 record in NCAA play, given a minimum of four coaches. The others who have done it are Florida State, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma and Syracuse.
NC State is one of only 16 schools nationally (one of two in the ACC) that sent its football team to a bowl game this season and is sending its men's basketball team to the NCAA Tournament.
TOP 25 WINS IN NCAA ACTION
When NC State defeated 13th ranked UCONN in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament, it marked the first time NC State had beaten a top 25 team in the NCAA Tournament since March 14, 1991 when the Pack defeated 25th-ranked Southern Miss, 114-85 in the opening round. It was the highest ranked team NC State has defeated in the NCAA Tournament since the Pack beat number-one ranked Houston in the National Championship game in 1983 in Albuquerque.
Overall, it was the 13th time NC State in the 1995 NCAA Tournament when he was the head coach at Miami (OH).
That means Sendek has two wins over 700 victory coaches in NCAA Tournament play as his 12th-seeded Miami team upset the fifth-seeded Wildcats and the Pack defeated the second-seeded UCONN Huskies and Jim Calhoun last season.
NC STATE SENIORS TIE RECORD
The Wolfpack's five-year streak of NCAA Tournament appearances is even more impressive considering that the streak follows a 10-year absence in the NCAA Tournament. Pack seniors Cameron Bennerman and Ilian Evtimov (a graduate student) have now joined nine other players in NC State's storied basketball history to advance to the NCAA tourney each of their years in Wolfpack uniform.
Evtimov has actually been to five NCAA Tournaments. He was on the team in 2003 that advanced to play Cal, but he was sitting out with a knee injury.