UNC Basketball: History On the Horizon for Matchup with Wolfpack

The UNC Basketball program is off to a 3-0 start in ACC play and now prepares to head to Raleigh for a historic matchup with rival NC State.

North Carolina State v North Carolina
North Carolina State v North Carolina / Peyton Williams/GettyImages

It's rivalry week. The 2023-2024 UNC Basketball team will conclude a three-game road stretch to begin 2024 with a trip to Raleigh and PNC Arena on Wednesday night to face rival NC State in front of a sold-out crowd. It's a rivalry that has been mostly one-sided as of late in favor of the Tar Heels.

The Wolfpack have just six wins over the Tar Heels in the previous 20 years and 11 total since 1998. In that same time frame, the Tar Heels own 36 victories over their rival since 2004, and 44 since 1998. 36-6 in the previous 42 matchups and 44-11 in the previous 55.

It was been a struggle for NC State to come up out victorious, and since winning four straight from 2002-2003, they have not put together consecutive wins over North Carolina. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels have win streaks of, six, 13, four (three times), and five since the same time frame.

However, that is all in the past with this matchup. It's a rivalry game, all the rankings and stats can be tossed out the window. It doesn't matter who has won the previous fifty matchups, it only matters who wins the next one. Both programs are off to a 3-0 start in Atlantic Coast Conference play, and that sets up for a historic matchup in PNC Arena on Wednesday night in Raleigh.

For the first time in 50 years, NC State and the UNC Basketball program will compete on the hardwood when both teams are at least 3-0 in conference play. The Tar Heels have gotten to this point by way of a 14-point comeback home victory over Florida State and two gritty road performances in the past week at Pittsburgh and Clemson. NC State has a six-point overtime road victory versus Boston College, a buzzer-beating two-point victory at Notre Dame, and a 16-point home shellacking of Virginia.

Just the fourth time ever that the two programs are meeting when they are 3-0, and it is the first time the UNC Basketball program has started 3-0 in conference play since the 2015-2016 basketball season.

Wednesday night will be a challenge for both teams, who are fighting to gain control at the top of the ACC Standings early in conference play while also looking for bragging rights over their rival. It will be the toughest environment the Tar Heels have faced all season.

Tip is scheduled for 8:00 PM on ESPN. Stay tuned to keepingitheel.com for our game preview to come later this week.

Next. UNC Basketball: ACC Men's Basketball rankings for the week of January 8. UNC Basketball: ACC Men's Basketball rankings for the week of January 8. dark

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