North Carolina Basketball: UNC’s 5 Most Important Games Left

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Jan 14, 2015; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige (5) shoots over North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Anthony Barber (12) during the first half at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Feb. 24 vs. N.C. State (14-10, 5-6)

The Wolfpack bolted out of the ACC gate quickly using and 87-75 win over Duke to start 3-1. But an 81-79 loss to the Tar Heels followed and jump started a tumble-down the conference standings with N.C. State dropping five of its last seven.

Junior guard Trevor Lacey is the league’s fifth leading scorer (16.7 points per game) and leads a Wolfpack team shooting 45.2 percent from the field.

North Carolina has placed a stranglehold on the rivalry winning 23 out of the last 25 meetings, and coach Roy Williams is 11-0 against N.C. State in the Dean E. Smith Center. Marcus Paige has feasted on the Wolfpack defense over their last three games averaging 23 points and hitting on 52.5 percent of his shot attempts.

The Tar Heels will need its most consistent scorer to be firing at the same clip to continue their dominance over their Triangle rival and like North Carolina, N.C. State has had issues keeping opponents clear of the offensive glass giving up 9.4 boards a game to rank 232nd nationally.