State Now

Gottfried already excited about shot at UNC

It's not uncommon for a coach to talk about the next game, usually after he's asked about it in the post-game press conference by a television reporter.

After Saturday's 71-64 win at Virginia Tech, N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried offered his unprompted take on Wednesday's game with North Carolina.

Gottfried was asked about the play of freshman Kyle Washington, who scored 13 points vs. the Hokies, which he segued into his thoughts on the Tar Heels, who have won nine straight ACC games.

"We've got 17 wins, we're hungry," Gottfried said. "We're playing a game on Wednesday, that I'm sure most people are going to expect us to get beat by 20 or so, 20 or 25.

"North Carolina's the hottest team in America, nobody's playing hotter than North Carolina right now."

The Tar Heels have recovered from a 1-4 ACC start and are 10-4 in the conference after Saturday's win over Wake Forest and Thursday's upset of Duke.

UNC coach Roy Williams has won 21 of 23 games against N.C. State, including an 84-70 decision on Feb. 14 in Chapel Hill, which Gottfried might have factored into his comments.

"This is the classic David and Goliath," said Gottfried, who's 1-5 vs. UNC. "We probably have no shot in most everybody's eyes but our guys will be excited about it. They will be really excited about the opportunity to upset the hottest team in America."

After Gottfried exited the press room, several members of the Virginia Tech media pointed out that there is technically one ACC team hotter than UNC.

Virginia, alone in first place at 14-1 in the ACC, has won 11 straight, including a 76-61 win over UNC back on Jan. 20.