Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Wednesday, February 18th, 8:00 PM
TV: Raycom Regional
Livestats: SCACC Hoops
Records: UNC 23-2, 9-2 ACC; NCSU 15-9, 4-7 ACC
Duke is puke.
Wake is fake.
The team I hate.
Is NC State.
At least that is how it was back in the days before uncgirl50 was born. ;)
This game still means something and with the Wolfpack having won two in a row which included beating Wake Forest the Tar Heels would be foolish to take this lightly. We have seen enough instances where an NCSU team comes in with some ridiculous shooting performance from CC Harrison or Tom Gugliotta to know that anything short of an all at blitz versus the Pack on both ends of the floor is inviting trouble.
The other plot line that will be discussed is the return of Tyler Zeller. How many minutes wll he play? Will he be effective? On offense? Defense? The questions are endless and I am tempering expectations until I actually see Zeller play a few games. There is no question Zeller's presence should raise the quality of depth and afford Roy the chance to rest the starters a little more. For now that is about all you can hope for and if Zeller is a serious weapon on offense and effective on defense that will be gravy. Yummy turkey gravy at that.
Among other potential talking points is whether or not NC State will opt for some zone given the success Miami enjoyed in slowing down the game versus the Heels. If not it will be interesting to see whether Sidney Lowe allows Tyler Hansbrough to operate against a single defender or will the Pack actually bring the double team in this one. Hansbrough went for 31 in Raleigh and was never really checked by the help defense. If NCSU plays him the same way look for Hansbrough to get a big game this evening to break him out of the little funk he has been in. Ty Lawson might be the greater concern for NCSU considering the level he is playing at right now and the fact the Wolfpack's guard play, while improving, is not in the same ballpark. A Lawson-Hansbrough combo will open up all sorts of good looks for Wayne Ellington, Danny Green and Deon Thompson.
This game is as good a game as any to see what happens if the Heels get all the cylinders firing. While Pack has played well in winning two games, they are defined more by their inconsistency than any potential to play at a high level for an extended period of time.
UNC 103 NCSU 75