Mar 10, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Kendall Marshall (5) puts up the game winning shot after making contact with North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Alex Johnson (3) in the second half during the semi-finals of the 2012 ACC Men

UNC Basketball: Fans Guide to Handling NC State


Coming this weekend is a rivalry game.  At least for one side.  And depending on who you ask, you’ll get a completely different view of the rivalry.

Both sides agree that the other essentially embodies everything that is wrong with both sport, society, and the world in general.  If you asked a State fan about UNC, elitist would likely come out fairly quickly.  If you asked a UNC fan about State, they would say one of two things.  The first would be a) completely (bordering on criminally) insane and/or b) inconsequential.

Now is when I have to give full disclosure – my sister went to NCSU.  I don’t hold the same feelings for/against NC State that some UNC fans may.  She actually cheers for UNC against Duke.  And Maryland.  Man, she really hates Maryland.  The school that is, not the state.  But I digress.

The problem I have with State is in it’s lunatic fringe.  The very, very, very vocal minority somehow feels like the majority.  I’m sure it feels that way to their fans too.  I ran into one recently.  It was the night NC State beat Duke.  The guy looked down.  “Hey man, congrats on your boys beating Duke.”  He responded, “Yeah, but Carolina won.”

The only win that would make me upset after a Carolina win would be if either rival won the National Championship after UNC won the NIT.  I guess I just don’t understand that mindset.  I’d rather cheer for my team than boo yours.  And I do enjoy booing Duke.

Here’s the long and short of it.  If you’re a State fan and you’re reading this article, take note.  Here’s how you bother a UNC fan.  If you win Saturday, act like it doesn’t matter.  Say things like “Yeah, but this isn’t a UNC team.”  and “This team just didn’t have the fight.  Or skill.  Or speed.”  Or anything else that Carolina has historically hung their hat on.  See, by doing this, you not only call the single game into question, but the rest of the season.  I can live with a bad game.  The thought of a bad season scares me.  A lot.

If you’re a Carolina fan (more likely given the Web-site you find yourself on right now), by far the most mean thing you can do to someone who feels about a rivalry the way many State fans feel about this one is act like it doesn’t matter to you.  Say things like “at least that was a good tune-up for Wake Forest.” and “cool.  Hey did you hear about…” and bring up anything else.

**BONUS CONTENT**  Since this is, after all, a UNC fan site, I am giving away free today two guaranteed shut down lines.  Use at your leisure.

Shut down line 1.  The good news is that since it’s almost assured that y’all won’t have a chance to punt to Gio Bernard, you’ll probably get to keep this coach.

Shut down line 2.  The last time State was relevant in basketball exactly none of the current players were born.  And your coach was a Senior in High School.

Just don’t say you heard em from me.

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