Feb 23, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams greets North Carolina State Wolfpack head coach Mark Gottfried after the game. The Tar Heels defeated the Wolfpack 76-65 as the Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

UNC Basketball: Defeating NC State Could Define UNC’s Season

Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels will try to even its conference record at 4-4, as well as continue their march towards the NCAA tournament when they host their old nemesis, N.C. State. If Carolina wins this game, it’s a good sign that this team has turned the corner and that they’re ready to do some damage.

The Smith Center will be rocking when the enemy from Raleigh makes their annual trip to Chapel Hill. Both the Tar Heels and the Wolfpack are fighting for their big dance lives, so this contest should be an emotional one and lack of passion or effort should be no issue for either squad.

As of late, Carolina has been playing pretty well.  Winners of two in a row (3 of  the last 4), this group seems to have found itself just in time to save the season. So with the Heels playing their best ball in quite a while, its a great time to square off with “little brother.”

At this point every game is huge for UNC, so they absolutely have to take care of business at home. If this team can get back to .500 in the ACC, the swag and confidence will return-which will be key when they get back out on the road. When these guys are confident and play with a chip on their collective shoulder, Carolina can be scary. Now its time to play like that consistently.

In UNC’s most notable wins the team played inspired, as a unit and we saw the result. When they do battle with N.C. State, much of the same will be needed.

The Wolfpack aren’t the best team remaining on the Tar Heels schedule, however this game gives UNC a chance to stabilize the season – record wise – which could propel this team to a strong finish. Basically, its make or break time for Carolina. They have a great opportunity to enhance their own resume, while knocking down a rival and sending a “little message” to the rest of the conference. With home dates left – against Duke, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame – the Heels must re-establish a home court advantage and make the visitor’s stay in the Dean Dome unpleasant.

A hungry and confident UNC spells trouble for the rest of the ACC, but any type of late season run will not happen without a “W” in this one. So it’s really simple, BEAT STATE!

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Tags: Basketball Dean Smith Center North Carolina Tar Heels

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