The rivalry between North Carolina and Duke is the best and most important in the ACC, they are made for TV games that are watched by every college basketball fan in the country. However, within the state of North Carolina no rivalry is more bitter and intense than the Tar Heels and the North Carolina State Wolfpack.
As a Tar Heel fan when your coach says “I hate losing to State more than any other school” you know how intense and important a rivalry this is.
By the numbers it is a rivalry that has been dominated by the Heels who lead the all time series 147-76. The Wolfpack have only beaten the Heels twice under Coach Roy Williams going 2-19 against the Heels since 2004. This has led to the popular “Not our rivals” chant inside the Smith Center.
The only decade in which the Wolfpack finished with more head-to-head wins than Carolina was the 1950s when State went 18-10. Even the best coaches in the history N.C. State struggled against North Carolina, Norm Sloan finished with a record of 13-26 against the Heels while the late Jim Valvano only went 6-18.
Everett Case would be the only coach to finish with a winning record against the Heels going 25-19, however most of those wins came before Dean Edwards Smith who finished with a 60-30 record against State arrived in Chapel Hill. Despite the Heels clear dominance of this rivalry some of the best and most historical games in this series have seen both teams come out on top and sometimes ruin or end the other team’s season.
On Jan. 18th, 1956 the first Carolina-State game was aired on TV. It was also the Wolfpack’s first TV game ever and the Heels would win 73-69.
Here are ten more of the greatest games and moments in the history of the UNC vs. NC State rivalary: