The North Carolina State Wolfpack are outsiders in this year’s “March Madness” chase.

NCAA basketball odds makers have them listed at a price of 75/1. Mark Gottfried’s squad has its share of traditional rivalries lined up, while facing some of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s new additions.

Are you prepared for the upcoming NCAA basketball season?

Wolfpack bounced early

Image previewNorth Carolina State made a promising run in last year’s ACC Tournament, eliminated in the semifinals by the Miami Hurricanes in an 81-71 setback. The Wolfpack went on as a No. 8 seed in the NCAA’s “Big Dance,” but dropped their opener to the Temple Owls, 76-72.

Wolfpack alums C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown have moved onto the NBA, following top numbers in scoring (15.1 PPG) and assists (7.2 APG), respectively. NC State’s Richard Howell has also departed due to graduation, following a sizable 10.9 RPG.

Wolfpack forward T.J. Warren returns after finishing his freshman year as his squad’s top shooter, knocking down buckets at a 62.2 percent clip. Warren is reunited with mate Tyler Lewis, who should see some more minutes after sinking 85.9 percent of his free throws last season.

Barber joins backcourt

North Carolina State’s top three new recruits add some new depth, with guard Anthony Barber leading the way. The Virginia native is joined by center BeeJay Anya and forward Kyle Washington, who are all considered four-star prospects by Rivals.

Barber signed with the Wolfpack after considering offers from the Kansas Jayhawks and Alabama Crimson Tide. Hampton High School will miss Barber’s presence after notching 21 PPG en route to becoming a McDonald’s All-American.

Anya comes in after logging big digits in boards (10.6 RPG) at DeMatha Catholic High School, while hitting a stellar 71 percent from the floor. Washington turned down five other offers in hopes of some big playing time, following 12 PPG and 10 RPG in his senior year with New Hampshire’s Brewster Academy.

Wolfpack to face tough road

North Carolina State opens with seven of its first eight contests played in the home confines of Raleigh’s PNC Arena. The span includes a visit from the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, as well as an ACC/Big Ten Challenge date with the Northwestern Wildcats.

January’s conference play begins with hosting the Pittsburgh Panthers, followed by traveling to meet the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The month ends with a stretch of three home dates, facing the Maryland Terrapins, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Florida State Seminoles.

NC State has both of its rivalry matchups against the North Carolina Tar Heels in February, following a split of last year’s pair of battles both SU and ATS. Warren and Co. will wrap up their regular season with a home affair against the Boston College Eagles, while looking ahead to this year’s ACC Tournament in Greensboro.

The Wolfpack began last year with a 6-3 spread record in its first nine ‘board’ matchups, but cooled off at NCAA basketball betting windows once reaching the heart of conference play. North Carolina State could get off to an even slower start this year with facing a year of rebuilding, while the Atlantic Coast Conference’s new arrivals beefing up the competition.

The NCAAB future odds on the Wolfpack to win it all may go even higher from where they are, making them a pass to back this early. When choosing your sports picks, look for NC State to be a sizable dog for most of its marquee matchups, needing the back door for some cashed tickets.

DIscuss the upcoming 2013-14 NCAA basketball season! Log on to our forum!