RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina State has a pair of former basketball head coaches serving as assistants to first-year coach Mark Gottfried. They're a big reason why the program is having its best season in six years.
Bobby Lutz spent a dozen years at Charlotte, while Orlando Early spent five years at Louisiana-Monroe. Their experience running their own programs has been an asset for Gottfried, who has N.C. State within reach of an NCAA tournament bid entering the final weeks of the regular season.
N.C. State (18-9, 7-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) faces No. 7 North Carolina on Tuesday night.
The Wolfpack's last trip to the NCAA tournament was 2006 and until this season N.C. State hadn't won more than six ACC games in a season since that trip.