NC State was ranked ahead of North Carolina in the pre season for the first time since the 1984/1985 season. The Tar Heels are unranked and have a record of 3-2 in the ACC. The question fans outside the triangle have to be asking is: Why is game day covering this game? If this were a football game it would similar if Lee Corso and the crew covered and eighteenth ranked Auburn team facing an unranked Alabama team. Looking at the weekends schedule though there is not another marquee match up for ESPN to highlight other than Louisville traveling to Georgetown.
Mar 9, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; The ACC logo and game ball as seen on the floor prior to the start of the quarter-final game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Maryland Terrapins in the 2012 ACC Men
The Demon Deacons are 3-3 in the ACC and 10-8 overall. After displaying some of the worst defense seen in the ACC until watching the Wolfpack play Tuesday night Jeff Bidzelik has his team moving toward the NCAA Bubble with an NIT opportunity in site. I have been critical of the Deacons, but they are improving as the year grows. The comeback win over NC State is a confidence booster needed in Wake Forest.
NC State has seen the court rushed three times in the last two weeks and two of them have been losses on the road to Maryland and Wake Forest. For you stat experts out there how when is the last time that an opponent has rushed the court after beating the Wolfpack? This is a sign that Mark Gottfried has upgraded the NC State basketball programs perception however losing on the road to Maryland and Wake Forest were bad losses. The Maryland game you can chalk up after the emotion from the Duke game the previous weekend, but blowing a lead to the Demon Deacons is inexcusable.
Roy Williams is 18-1 as the North Carolina head coach when facing NC State and if you include games as an assistant the record is 23-1. To continue being a thorn in NC State’s side Coach Williams will need his team to limit Richard Howell’s opportunities for offensive rebounds and rotate effectively on defense resisting the urge to over help.
In my spare time which is very little I enjoy spending time with my family and playing board games with our two girls. We have two older sons who are in the USMC, and one of my favorite moments in sports was this year's UNC vs. MSU Carrier Classic where college basketball paid a special tribute to our armed forces. I hope this tradition will continue with other teams in the future.