Heels-Pack: Who has the edge?

J.P. GIGLIOFebruary 21, 2012 


Depends on which version of Lorenzo Brown shows up. If it's the passive one from the first meeting in Chapel Hill, then it's Marshall all day, every day. If it's the Brown who had 19 points, six rebounds and five assists at Duke, and was aggressive with the ball, then it's the multi-faceted Brown over the one-dimensional Marshall. Edge: Brown


Wood is in a shooting slump (5-for-27 the past three games) and historically has not played well against the more athletic Tar Heels. Bullock, who is 6-foot-7, bothered Wood with his length in the UNC rout in Chapel Hill last month, and has been relatively consistent since entering the starting lineup eight games ago. Edge: Bullock


Williams, a senior, is the most likely candidate to play the role of "N.C. State shooter who gets insanely hot from 3 and beats UNC," a la Lakista McCuller or C.C. Harrison. Any potential Wolfpack upset likely would be fueled by a 3-point barrage, but Williams has been cold recently and Barnes is rounding his scoring form into shape and enjoys beating the Wolfpack. Edge: Barnes


Leslie has played like an underclassman trying to get the NBA's attention with just a dominant, albeit limited, show (12 points, nine boards and six blocks in 25 minutes) at Duke, and a one-man-army effort against Florida State (21 points, nine boards). But there's no denying Henson absolutely owns N.C. State. He had five blocks in the first game, giving him 18 in the past three games - all easy UNC wins. Edge: Henson


Zeller, a legit 7-foot, is a just a difficult matchup for Howell, who's closer to 6-5 than his listed 6-8. Zeller has been one of the most consistent players in the ACC this season, and Howell has fouled out in five of the past eight ACC games. Edge: Zeller


N.C. State got solid efforts from guard Alex Johnson and forward DeShawn Painter vs. Duke and both could provide a spark with their shooting against the Tar Heels. Painter is N.C. State's best option at forward to pull either Zeller or Henson away from the basket and hit some mid-range shots. Johnson had three 3-pointers in the loss at Duke. UNC's depth has been reduced to James Michael McAdoo and P.J. Hairston with cameos by Justin Watts and Stilman White. Edge: Even


UNC coach Roy Williams has made no bones about his enjoyment in beating the Wolfpack, and he's done so regularly since replacing Matt Doherty eight years ago (17 times in 18 games). UNC's players won't admit as much, but they also seem to relish keeping the Wolfpack in its place in this rivalry, which is in the process of being systematically devalued by the conference. Still, if N.C. State's going to play a "Super Bowl," tonight is the night. The crowd, still frothing from Saturday's ejections of greats Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta, at least will be up to the task. Edge: UNC

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