February 26, 2014

UNC vs. N.C. State: It’s game day

Stories and insights into UNC’s second game against N.C. State, this one at PNC Arena in Raleigh.

And welcome to game day, folks. North Carolina will make the short trek later today to N.C. State, where the Tar Heels and Wolfpack will begin play at a little after 8 p.m. This is the second game between these teams – the rematch following UNC’s 84-70 victory against N.C. State in Chapel Hill.

In that game, the Tar Heels got off to a fast start and the Wolfpack never really recovered after falling behind early. The meaning is always amplified in these games, and so it is again. N.C. State needs a victory to enhance its NCAA tournament resume. And UNC, at this point, is playing for tournament seeding.

Some stories for your consideration:

--Columnist Luke DeCock explores the interesting question of whether N.C. State might be better prepared to handle UNC’s go-to defensive wrinkle. The Tar Heels are likely to play at least a little bit of zone, but the Wolfpack, once dreadful against zone defenses, has come a ways.

--N.C. State’s improvement against the zone, and its improvement overall when it comes to executing its offense, can be attributed to Tyler Lewis. The sophomore point guard had to wait a while for his opportunity, but it has arrived. Joe Giglio with the story.

--And, from me, a story that Roy Williams had no interest in talking about. Not that I’d expect him to. Williams on Tuesday feigned ignorance about the NCAA tournament host site in North Carolina, but there is indeed one. And it’s not all that far from UNC’s campus. Could the Tar Heels make it back to Raleigh in two and a half weeks?

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UNC beat writer Andrew Carter


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