CHAPEL HILL — Mark Gottfried didn't watch the tape of either of N.C. State's losses to North Carolina from last season. He didn't have to; UNC gave him a reprise on Thursday.
In the same dominant, defensive fashion from a year ago, UNC looked every bit like the preseason No. 1 team in the country in a 74-55 pasting of the Wolfpack at the Smith Center.
State started the day tied for first in the ACC, with four wins in its first five games, but it got a dose of reality from a motivated UNC team, which beat the Wolfpack for the 11th straight time and improved to 17-1 under coach Roy Williams in the series.
N.C. State junior Scott Wood, who scored a team-high 11 points, called it a disaster.
"We played really bad," Wood said. "And they were really good. You put that together and it's hard to beat anybody."
In scoring a season low in points and getting outrebounded by 22 (48 to 26), N.C. State looked like the team with the longest NCAA tournament drought in the ACC. State's previous scoring low was against Princeton (60 points in a win), a game it played without either Wood or C.J. Leslie, who finished Thursday's game with nine points and eight rebounds but had several shots blocked by John Henson.
State has been the most balanced scoring team in the ACC but only Wood cracked double-digits on Thursday and the team shot 36.8 percent (21-57) from the floor. State's lone highlight came when Lorenzo Brown's 80-foot 3-pointer banked in at the halftime buzzer, it still left the Pack down 37-23 at the half.
UNC got 21 points and 17 rebounds from Tyler Zeller, who combined with Henson (five blocks) to own the paint and force State to beat them from the outside.
With Wood taking only one shot in the first 16 minutes of the game, that was a strategy that the Wolfpack (15-6, 4-2 in the ACC), couldn't overcome.
"We didn't have the wherewithal to stay with our offense and really grind out good shots," Gottfried said.
State beat up on Boston College, Wake Forest, Miami and Maryland but Gottfried kept repeating that his team had a "long way to go." That was evident after State fell behind by 31 points, 63-32 with 10:39 left in the game.
Gottfried bristled at the notion that Thursday's loss was a reality check for his team.
"I'm not into all that, a reality check," Gottfried said. "It's a game. This isn't a measuring stick. ... They played really well tonight. You have to give them credit ... but we did not play nearly as well as we have this year."