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NC State hits the court in Wichita ready to make some noise

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Joe Mazur reports from Wichita, where NC State took the practice floor Wednesday.

NC State comes into the NCAA tournament ahead of the curve given the expectations for Kevin Keatts in his first year with the Wolfpack.

However, this team doesn't feel like party crashers. It is here to make noise in the Midwest region starting with a takedown of No. 8 seed Seton Hall. On the campus of Wichita State, the No. 9 seed Pack held one practice before their first look at Intrust Bank Arena where they'll face the Pirates.

"I'd say our biggest motivation right now, we have two actually, the ACC tournament how we lost first day, we're just mad at it," said center Omer Yurtseven. "We'll just use that as fuel and at the same time we don't want this game tomorrow to be our last."

State guard Allerik Freeman is one of three guys with NCAA tournament experience.

"We gotta enjoy it at the end of the day. A lot of people don't get to play in this, during this time of year," Freeman said. "We really can't take this opportunity for granted. It's just basketball at the end of the day. Nobody should be stressed and tight and all that kind of stuff."

No disrespect to Wichita, but you'd have to work to find outside distractions. One person traveling with the team said the only thing remotely interesting near the team hotel, which is seven miles from Intrust Bank Arena is a Costco. Watch out for those samples!

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.

The Wolfpack (21-11) and the Pirates (21-11) tip off at 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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sportsNC State Wolfpackmarch madnesscollege basketball
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