DENVER (WNCN) — The North Carolina State Wolfpack will get no further than one round into the NCAA Tournament.

The No. 11 Wolfpack dropped its opening game in Denver, Colorado, to No. 6 Creighton, 72-63, Friday evening.

Guard Terquavion Smith led the way for NC State, scoring 32 points. Guard Jarkel Joiner was the only other Wolfpack player to muster double-digit points.

Meanwhile, for Creighton, the Blue Jays were led by 31 points from center Ryan Kalkbrenner. The 31 points were a career-high. Four of their five starters also hit double-digits in the balanced win.

The 7-foot-1 Kalkbrenner did a little bit of everything for the Bluejays, that included hitting a big 3-pointer on a day the team finished 3-for-20 from long range.

The slender Kalkbrenner had six dunks and 10 rebounds, and N.C. State big men D.J. Burns Jr. and Ebenezer Dowuona were hampered by foul trouble.

“Nothing surprises me from Kalk,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “He’s just improved in every facet of the game, and he was able to score on Burns. But then when they had to go small, we did a good job of executing some offense to get him the ball around the rim, and then he did the rest.”

Next up for the Bluejays (22-12) is third-seeded Baylor in the second round in the South Region. The Bears beat Santa Barbara in the early game.

Leading 62-59, Baylor Scheierman drained a 3-pointer with 2:23 remaining to give Creighton some separation. A pair of free throws for Kalkbrenner, a block by Trey Alexander and another basket from Scheierman — complete with blowing the crowd a kiss — and the Bluejays were on their way to a hard-earned win.

About that kiss: “It was just an in-the-moment thing,” Scheierman explained. “It wasn’t necessarily to anybody.”

Kalkbrenner was having a big game in the NCAA Tournament last season — 16 points, 10 rebounds — when he suffered a knee injury in the overtime win over San Diego State. He didn’t get to play the next round against eventual national champion Kansas.

“Happy to be able to play in it this time,” Kalkbrenner said.

The Wolfpack (23-11) started slow, going 0-for-8 from the field to open the game, and never found its rhythm from deep. The team finished 3-for-14 from 3-point range.

“We knew their game plan. We knew what they were going to do,” Joiner said, whose team led by seven with 16:48 remaining. “We could’ve been more disruptive because they’re a great passing team. But give credit to them — they found their big man.”

It was quite a turnaround for an N.C. State team that went 11-21 last season.

“We are going to walk out of here with our head up,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said. “Continue to build and keep pushing this program in the right direction.”