MILWAUKEE — The Marquette men's basketball team left Wednesday afternoon for the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. They play North Carolina State Friday night in Dallas.

As the second seed, Marquette is favored against NC State. But the 11th seeded Wolfpack is a hot team, having won the ACC tournament to get an NCAA bid.

"You definitely can't look at them as an 11 seed," said Marquette forward Ben Gold. "They've got this far. They won the ACC conference. You know that. You have to respect them. They're on a roll right now."

The Golden Eagles got a nice sendoff from fans on campus Wednesday afternoon. Marquette Head Coach Shaka Smart says his team is ready.

"Be the best to us," said Smart. "Same strategy that we have for facing anybody. We try not to make it about the opponent. We try to make it about us being the best version of ourselves. That's what we've worked on all year. That's what we should have the most confidence in, as opposed to being a certain type of team that needs to counteract what the other team does."

North Carolina State features 300-pound D.J. Burns, who presents a unique challenge.

"He's a really unique player," said Gold. "I don't feel like we've played against anyone like him. He's a big body. He's got a really good touch. You know, he's a handful to deal with."

For Marquette guard Chase Ross, it's a homecoming. He's from Dallas and says he has about 40 family members and friends coming to the game Friday.

"I mean, it's like my backyard. I mean, that's where it all started, where I got my first looks from colleges and everything. So, it's definitely fun to get back there."

"Everybody's a hunter," says Smart. "In the NCAA tournament, it's kill or be killed, single elimination. So, you know, our mentality has to be to be our most aggressive selves for sure."

If Marquette can get past North Carolina State, they would play either Houston or Duke Sunday afternoon for a berth in the Final Four, where Marquette last appeared in 2003.