N.C. State and North Carolina will play a college basketball game this weekend. The Wolfpack and Tar Heels will just have to wait an extra 17 hours to play it.
Their game Saturday night was postponed until 1 p.m. Sunday amid concerns about icy road conditions in the Triangle.
Duke’s 93-82 win over Boston College was played as scheduled on Saturday afternoon in Durham but according to UNC, “the likelihood of dangerous and worsening road conditions” led to the postponement in Chapel Hill.
“Considering the travel conditions we are not comfortable with the idea that thousands of people, from the players, coaches and officials to fans of both teams and the hundreds of people that staff the Smith Center for the game, would be leaving the arena (Saturday night) after 10 p.m.,” UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said on Saturday in a statement released by the school.
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“Everyone attending the game on Sunday will still need to use extreme caution in getting to and from the game, but we think there is a huge difference between driving in the daylight as opposed to this evening, when conditions are expected to be treacherous.”
Snow and ice started to hit the Triangle on Friday night and continued during the day on Saturday. The ACC’s general weather policy is if both teams, the game officials and game operations crew can make it to the site, the game will go on as scheduled.
The game referees were in Chapel Hill on Saturday, as was the UNC team. N.C. State, which practiced at the Smith Center on Friday afternoon but returned to Raleigh, was willing to make the bus ride down I-40 on Saturday afternoon before the ACC and UNC made the decision to postpone the game.
“We were prepared to travel to Chapel Hill for this evening’s game, since both teams and the officials were available. While we are disappointed in the postponement, we look forward to playing tomorrow,” Debbie Yow, N.C. State athletic director, said in a statement.
There were safety concerns specifically on UNC’s end, with the wintry weather about getting the game operations crew safely to and from the game.
Winter weather has caused some notable problems in recent seasons for the Triangle teams. Duke’s basketball team could not get to its scheduled game in Chapel Hill in February 2014 and that game was postponed and played eight days later. UNC won the rescheduled game 74-66.
N.C. State and Duke were able to play a basketball game in Raleigh during a winter storm and a declared state of emergency last January. Duke won the game 88-78.
All three Triangle football teams played a home game in October during Hurricane Matthew, which also was a declared state of emergency.
Sunday’s game will be aired by ESPN.
N.C. State at UNC
When: 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: Smith Center, Chapel Hill