Ready for some basketball news? Of course, you are! It appears to be official that Penn State's opening round opponent in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off this November will be against NC State, according to Fayobserver.com
N.C. State released the names of the opponents on its 2012-13 home basketball schedule Tuesday, and coach Mark Gottfried provided details about the team's participation in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off that runs from Nov. 15-18.
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.
The Wolfpack should provide a nice challenge for Pat Chambers' crew, as they return their top four scorers from last season's Sweet 16 squad. Following that game (win or lose) the Nittany Lions will either face a UMass team coming off a breakthrough season last year under their 5th-year coach Derek Kellogg, or a Providence team led by a young, energetic, coach who aside from being able to teach X's and O's and develop players, can also do work on the recruiting trail (sound familiar?)
Without a doubt, this tournament should be an excellent early season barometer for a Penn State team looking to get back to the postseason. It will also be a chance for the Chambers-dubbed "best backcourt in the nation" of Tim Frazier and D.J. Newbill to test their skills against some quality high-major competition. Furthermore, Penn Staters looking to vacation in spots such as Puerto Rico now have the perfect excuse to make such a getaway. Hopefully, these types of tournaments will become an annual occurrence for the duration of the Chambers era.