When it comes to North Carolina rivals, NC State is one of them. No, they are not Duke. They are not even a rival in the same way Duke is. Duke is a rival in a sense of on court battles, thrilling wins-both ways, and fan despise of the opposing school. NC State is a rival from the stance of being a downright obnoxious fan base, something the Tar Heel fan base is used to. Something else the Tar Heel fan base is used to is the Tar Heels being dominant against the Wolfpack. Since coming back to Chapel Hill, Roy Williams is 32-4 vs the Wolfpack. Tonight, the Heels look to keep that dominance going.
The NC State game is important for more reasons than simply keeping that dominance going. It is important because it is a chance for the Heels to build on the positive momentum from the Kentucky game. It is also a chance to set the tone for the ACC season. Regardless of opponent, you want to start Conference play with a win.
NC State enters tonight’s contest with a 4-1 record. The Wolfpack’s lone loss was to St. Louis. They own wins over Charleston So, North Florida, UMass Lowell, and Campbell. Needless to say, the Tar Heels will be a step up in competition.
NC State players to note:
*Guard-Devon Daniels-averaging 16.2 points per game and shooting 47.7% from the field.
*Forward-Jericole Hellens-averaging 13.4 points per game and shooting 46.2% from three.
*The Wolfpack have seven players shooting over 33% from three. Of the seven, six are a part of the rotation. The Wolfpack come into the game shooting a team percentage of 37.7% from deep.
Keys to the game for the Tar Heels:
*It seems like wishful thinking, but focusing on getting off to a good start.
*Defense-defense played a huge role in the win over Kentucky. With NC State shooting the three as efficiently as they are, it will be important for the Tar Heels to lock down the three point line.
*Shot selection-it goes without saying that Roy Williams teams want to get out in transition. When in the half court, it will be important to be patient and take good shots.
*Feed the post and win the rebounding battle.
It is the start of the ACC. That means no game is an easy game, especially on the road. If the Heels want to win, they will have to play with the same energy, toughness, and focus they did the second half against Kentucky.
NC State-41st overall
TV info-the matchup will be televised on the ACC network at 7:00 PM eastern time