N.C. State will play North Carolina and Duke at home next season in basketball.
Neither game will be a given once the league expands to 14 teams before the 2013-14 season so it's noteworthy that both the Tar Heels and Blue Devils will visit Raleigh.
Who knows when that will happen again?
But the rest of the schedule, particularly out of the league, has less appeal, even to a fan base eager for what could be a big season for Mark Gottfried's second team.
There are land-mine games, which Gottfried has quickly, and wisely, made his staple given the value of a tough schedule in terms of NCAA tournament selection. Norfolk State, which shocked Missouri, a No. 2 seed, in the tournament, headlines the list of sneaky-tough games. St. Bonaventure (a return trip from last year's schedule) and Cleveland State are also on that list. A total of three of the seven non-league games are against teams that made the NCAA tournament last season.
Gottfried admits the schedule lacks a certain box-office appeal but not overall quality. He also noted the increase to 18 games in the ACC had an affect on the nonconference portion of the schedule.
"It's going to be a tough schedule," Gottfried said. "Sometimes you throw out a Norfolk State or a Cleveland State and guys in our business go, 'Whew, you've got your hands full.' "
Stanford, which beat the Pack last year in California, is the only opponent from a major conference to make the trip to the PNC Arena.
The Pack will make up for the lack of name-brand quality with a road trip to Michigan, one of the early Big Ten favorites, and a neutral site game against Connecticut, albeit a UConn outfit reduced to spare parts by an NCAA ban from the tournament.
State will also participate in the Puerto Rico Tipoff in November, opening with Penn State and then playing either Providence or Massachusetts. Tennessee, an early SEC favorite, and Oklahoma State are on the other side of the Tipoff bracket.
In the league, the Pack also gets Wake Forest (its official, ACC-sanctioned rival), Florida State, Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia Tech at home.
In terms of the league play, it's the polar opposite of last year's soft schedule. Instead of six games against the bottom three teams (BC, GT and Wake), the Pack has six games against the top three (UNC-Duke-FSU). Hence, there won't be any shortcuts to the first regular-season title since 1989.
The opponents for N.C. State's home schedule (dates and times are TBA):
Notes: n-NCAA tournament team, r-game will be played at Reynolds Coliseum.