The rivalry between N.C. State and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill revolves around basketball. Sometimes it builds around football. But now one of its greatest moments is about to come in what is often an overlooked college sport: baseball.
The Wolfpack and the Tar Heels are among the last eight teams standing and are bound for the College World Series in Omaha. The rivals will play each other Sunday and possibly again before the final series.
Its a collision that will conclude great story lines. N.C. State, after years of near misses and struggles, is going to the World Series for the first time since 1968. UNC, a baseball power, is going for the sixth time in eight seasons. UNC set a school record with 48 regular season wins, but N.C. State is one of the hottest teams in the NCAA tournament with five straight victories.
Best of all, the meeting in Omaha allows for a rematch of the game-that-wouldnt-end. In this years ACC tournament at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the Pack and the Heels battled for 18 innings before Carolina finally won 2-1 early in the morning in a game that had begun the night before. At more than six hours, it was the longest game in the history of the tournament.
Two schools less than 30 miles apart will travel more than 1,200 miles to meet each other in the center of the nation on college baseballs main stage. At least one will fall short, but their rivalry will win. A great competition is about to add a grand new chapter.