North Carolina vs North Carolina State
When: Saturday, Jan. 26, 7:00 p.m.
Where: PNC Arena
There is one undefeated team in the ACC, (Miami) and one winless team, (Georgia Tech). The rest of the conference has at least two losses, including the preseason favorite, North Carolina State Wolfpack. After beating Duke two weeks ago, the Wolfpack were on a 10 game winning streak, but they have lost two of their last three games. Although they were by a combined three points, NC State shouldn’t have been in the situations to lose those games. If they had taken care of business, the Wolfpack would be sitting atop the ACC, but instead they are alone in second place.
North Carolina has answered their slow ACC start with three straight wins. Now they need another signature win to help out with their postseason resume. A road win over North Carolina State would be a feather in the cap of the Tarheels. A win would also push North Carolina into second place.
NC State is undefeated at home, so they are looking to keep their dominance going. None of the players on this NC State team have ever beaten North Carolina. In fact the Wolfpack have lost 13 straight games to the Tarheels.
Offensively, North Carolina is one of the best teams, and they rank in top 15 in scoring. They average 78 points per game, and they are also top 10 in assists. Reggie Bullock is the leading three point shooter, and he averages 14.3 points per game. James Michael McAdoo is the scoring leader and most versatile big man.
NC State is in the top 10 offensively, and they average close to 80 points per game. However, they need to focus more on the defensive end against North Carolina.
Both teams give up over 68 points per game, so this should be a high scoring game. NC State has five guys that average double figures in points, and Richard Howell controls the paint with nightly double-doubles. C.J. Leslie leads the Wolfpack 15.3 points per game.
NC State struggles from the foul line, and a few of the losses can be attributed to key misses. They must make opponents pay from the charity stripe.
This game should have a great pace and nice energy throughout. North Carolina State clearly gets motivated by the big name programs, and they will be ready to play on Saturday night. North Carolina has to handle the crowd and make timely three’s to stay in the game.
North Carolina State 83
North Carolina 75
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