Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: February 21st, 9:00 PM
TV: Raycom/LF Regional
Records: UNC 23-4, 9-3 ACC; NC State 14-11, 4-8 ACC
This would be a bigger upset than February 3rd in Raleigh because (1) NC State would be winning at Chapel Hill to collect an improbably sweep and (2) UNC knew what was coming and did nothing to deal with it. On top of that there is an expectation that NC State has a reasonable chance to win this game because they handled UNC so well in Raleigh, UNC lost to VT in a revenge game which somehow proves that UNC is not necessarily capable of handling the return game and NC State showed on Sunday that they can shoot lights out versus a very good team.
And for all of these reasons I think UNC will win and it will not even be close.
The last I checked NC State was 14-11 overall which means that 11 times this year they lost to teams not as good as UNC is right now. I also happen to think that what happened in Raleigh three weeks ago and what happened last Tuesday versus Virginia Tech has a great deal of impact on how UNC comes out and plays this game. Aside from all of that, does anyone really expect NC State to come out and shoot the ball they way they did that Saturday given they did practically the same thing three days ago? I think this Tar Heel team has learned some valuable lessons during the past eight days about what it means to play with focus and intensity. Marcus Ginyard has suddenly become that vocal leader I think UNC needs and Reyshawn Terry despite the propensity for the bonehead foul also show an equal if not greater propensity for hitting the big shot against Boston College.
So while everyone is willing to pour the accolades on a team that is still fighting for NIT life let me say that while the Pack have been impressive on occassion this season, there is nothing that makes me think tonight will be one of the nights. The time has come for a statement win from these Heels and clear signal to the rest of the ACC that this team is ready to meet expectations.
UNC 98 NC State 68