WICHITA, Kan. — No. 8 seed Seton Hall (21-11) vs. No. 9 seed North Carolina State (21-11)
First round, Midwest Region; Wichita, Kansas; Thursday, 3:30 p.m. EDT
BOTTOM LINE: Seton Hall is making its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance under Kevin Willard, who took over a program in turmoil seven seasons ago. The Wolfpack missed out the past two seasons, but has won at least one tournament game in six of its past seven trips.
TRANSPLANTED STARS: Three of the Wolfpack’s major contributors began their careers elsewhere, including top scorer Al Freeman, who played for Baylor in the NCAA Tournament. Fellow guard Sam Hunt played at Jacksonville and North Carolina A&T and Torin Dorn began his career at Charlotte.
TERRIFIC TRIO: The Pirates’ trio of Desi Rodriguez, Khadeen Carrington and Angel Delgado has combined for nearly 5,000 points, and all of them rank in the top 20 in school history. Carrington has been especially good down the stretch, averaging 22.4 points over his last five games.
READING KEATTS: North Carolina State coach Kevin Keatts matched Everett Case (1946-47) for the most wins by a first-year coach in school history. He led UNC-Wilmington to the NCAA Tournament each of the past two seasons, but is still seeking his first tourney win.
DID YOU KNOW: This matchup should be a contrast of styles. Seton Hall is the prototypical Big East team, featuring plenty of size and muscle. North Carolina State prefers to press and run.