Welcome to the RBC Center for a key ACC battle between North Carolina and NC State.
Tim Brant and Billy Packer with the call. Tip off!
Quick pass inside for NC State, foul on David Noel. Illian Estimov is in uniform. NC State up 2-0
First lead for UNC on a Noel jumper, 4-2.
Double team on Tyler Hansbrough's first touch might be an indication on how State plans to cover him early. Three from Wes Miller gives UNC a 7-6 lead.
Reyshawn Terry drives and dunks over Andrew Brackman, no call from the official. UNC up 10-8. Cam Betterman misses a dunk and is fouled. 1st TV timeout. Both teams seem in sync early and running very deliberate offenses. Only one touch for Hansbrough on the post so far.
Illian Estimov is in the game. It will be insteresting to see how well he plays with the injured ankle. 10-10 tie.
Hansbrough fouled and the basket. Free throw is good, UNC up three.
A lot of back and forth without any scoring. A couple of long threes missed by NC State including a wide open look for Bethel. Dry spell for both teams--scratch that 3 point basket from Betterman ties the game at 13.
Terry makes 1 of 2 free throws, UNC leads 14-13.
Full court pressure from UNC opens up the lane for a Atsur layup, NC State leads 15-14.
A lot of missed perimeter shots for UNC with Hansbrough out of the game.
Three from NC State to open the lead to four.
Marcus Ginyard for three to cut the lead to one at 18-17. 2nd TV timeout. Both teams look cautious. NC State is doing a great job of denying entry passes to the post. Hansbrough has not had many touches. NC State is getting some good looks from the perimeter and has had some success penetrating to the lane.
UNC retakes the lead on a Noel jumper at 19-18.
Atsur hits a leaning three with the shot clock winding down, Pack up 21-19.
Hansbrough ties the game for sixth time at 21.
NC State commits its 7th team foul and puts UNC in the bonus. Noel hits 1 of 2, Hansbrough rebounds, pass to Noel for three. Good! UNC up 25-21.
Steal by Hansbrough, pass down to a wide open Noel for the slam! UNC opens its biggest lead at 27-21. 3rd TV timeout.
Solid defensive effort from both teams so far. UNC was giving up more cuts to the basket but seem to be more wary of those now. Key stat so far: UNC has 7 offensive rebounds for 6 second chance points.
Shocker: UNC commits its 1st turnover at the 7 minute mark. Bethel for three...in and out. Pass into Hansbrough, fouled and the basket! Free throw missed, NC State loses it out of bounds. 10-0 UNC run for a 29-21 advantage.
Brackman hits a three. UNC 29 NCSU 24.
Good interior pass to Cedric Simmons puts NC State within two.
Another offensive rebound for UNC, Noel lays it in for a 31-26 lead.
NC State is now in the bonus. Brackman misses front end of the 1 and 1.
Noel hits another jumper for 15 first half points. UNC leads 33-26.
Another three from Brackman pulls the Pack within four at 33-29.
Wes Miller for three...good! UNC back up by seven.
Drive and layup for Terry, UNC moves the lead out to nine.
Missed three for State, rebound UNC.
Noel for three....YES! UNC opens up a 12 point lead!
Timeout NC State. UNC 41 NCSU 29
The final TV timeout of the half. I guess it is necessary to have five straight minutes of commercials.
I love the Alltel video phone commercial where the guys get the ball blocked in his face. Classic physical comedy.
Noel is having a monster game so far. 18 points and his 8th rebound off another free throw miss.
Terry with another jumper, UNC now up by 14!
UNC goes to zone and Atsur makes them pay with a three.
Terry for three...YES! UNC 46 NC State 32.
NC State moves the ball through the UNC zone for an easy basket.
Timeout UNC, Roy Williams probably wants to set the play and change the defense.
Three missed shots and three offensive rebounds for UNC. Jump ball, arrow to UNC.
Three seconds and UNC inbounding the ball. Danny Green from 25 feet at the buzzer is off the rim to the right and we are at halftime with UNC leading NC State, 46-34.
David Noel and Reyshawn Terry have 18 and 12 points respectively. UNC has out rebounded NCSU 18-9 in the first half. Hansbrough has 7 points. Three point shooting has been even with both teams hitting six apiece. NC State is not known for a high octane offense so three point shooting is going to be key for them to get back in it. Another problem for NC State is I cannot imagine that Hansbrough will continue to be as quiet as he has been. However, I do not think that David Noel will be able to keep up his pace.
There were games this season where UNC turned the ball over 25 times and still won. In the first half alone: 2 turnovers. NC State has 4 turnovers seeming to indicate that either the defensive pressure is not that great from either side or both teams are doing a great job of taking care of the ball. In UNC's case this particular issue was a major problem. During the past three games their turnovers have been down siginificantly and that can only translate into better play.
2nd half is underway, NC State has the ball trailing by 12.
Brackman rebounds a Atsur miss to cut the lead to 10.
Noel picks up where he left off and extends the lead back to 12. UNC 48 NCSU 36.
Two quick fouls on UNC including the third foul on Terry.
Simmons backs Hansbrough in and scores. Fouls is on Noel which is his third.
Foul trouble could play a role for UNC. Missed free throw from Simmons, rebound UNC.
Referees seem to be calling lots of quick fouls as opposed to the first half.
Side Note: This raises an issue which I haveheard before which is different officiating from one half to the next. There were 16 fouls in the first half. Through 2 minutes they have called four fouls.
A Noel tip in and goal tending on NC State extends the UNC lead to 52-38.
Another foul called, the second on Byron Sanders. We are not even to the first TV timeout and the referees have called 4 fouls on UNC and 2 fouls on NC State. In my opinion that seems to be a drastic change from the first half where the seemed to let them play a little more.
Dunk from Hansbrough puts UNC up by 14.
NC State with a put back to cut it back to 12
Hansbrough with a layup and the foul. 1st TV timeout of the 2nd half, UNC 56 NCSU 42 with Hansbrough going to the line.
While we wait, I think the foul calling is much tighter now than it was in the first half. Foul trouble for UNC could turn this game significantly in State's favor.
Hansbrough hits the free throw for a 15 point UNC lead.
Stupid fact of the game: Herb Sendek is 2-2 when playing on his birthday which is today.
Atsur cuts the lead to 13, UNC turns it over but NC State cannot convert.
Bethel leaves the game and appears to really be struggling.
Simmons picks up his third foul eveing the foul trouble out a bit.
Wes Miller for three....good! UNC up 60-44
Gavin Grant his a runner to cut the lead back to 14.
Crowd is booing a no call on contact between Miller and Grant as Grant stepped out of bounds with the ball. Best picture of the night: A aged Tom Burleson pointing his finger at the referees and yelling. Chris Corchiani and David Thompson are also at the game.
A pair of NC State free throws brings the lead down to 12, crowd is getting into.
UNC miss. Cedric Simmons is fouled whiling hiting a jumper over Sanders. Simmons on the line to cut the lead down to 9 and he does.
Gut check time for UNC.
David Noel for three...BIG SHOT! The leads is back to 12 and the crowd is quieter now.
Simmons fouls Hansbrough and that is his fourth foul with 12:26 left in the game.
1 for 2 for Hansbrough. UNC 64 NCSU 51.
Drive and layup by Atsur, he is the only State player doing anything tonight.
UNC is getting every offensive rebound. Miller passes to Hansbrough for a dunk and a 66-53 lead.
Bethel gets the layup on the give and go. Basket is good and he is fouled. 2nd TV Timeout.
NC State reeled off seven straight to cut the lead to nine but Noel answered with a three and the Hansbrough dunk on the last play effectively quieted the crowd which was getting back into the game.
Key Stat: UNC is outrebounding NCSU 28-16.
Free throw for Bethel cuts the lead back to 10.
Turnover UNC, NC State with a chance to close it to eight but lsoes the ball to Noel.
Roy Williams is resting key players for the stretch run.
Ginyard with the runner puts UNC back up by 12.
Ginyard goes coast to coast following an Atsur miss. UNC leads 70-56.
Miss by Noel and a sprinting Green tips the ball in to extend the UNC lead to 72-56.
Herb Sendek wants a timeout to see if he can find a way to keep from having a losing record on his birthday.
Simmons returns with 8:40 to go and four fouls.
Another State miss, Noel rebound, Ginyard dunk on the other end. UNC 74 NC State 56
3rd TV Timeout.
I think UNC domination of NC State if shocking. State has struck me as a better team than what they are showing tonight. Of course this is also the same team that laid a huge egg against Seton Hall at home so maybe it is not that surprising. At this point in the game NC State looks defeated. UNC has answered their runs and now extended the lead to 18 with under eight minutes to go. This is not an impossible deficit but it would take some hot shooting from State and ice cold offense from UNC.
Atsur on the line, hits to free throws to cut the lead to 16.
Nice block from Simmons, UNC ball out of bounds.
Hansbrough pass to Terry, UNC leads 76-58.
Brackman dunk cuts the lead back to 16.
Packer is regaling us with how the 1979 State team rallied from 21 down at half to take the lead against UNC only to lose.
Another basket for Terry, UNC up 18.
Another miss for NC State, Wes Miller for three...YES! UNC now up by 21.
Timeout NC State.
Wolfpack Nation has officially gone out to lunch.
Packer tries to give Hansbrough his fourth foul, it is actually his third.
Simmons hits two free throws to cut the lead to 19.
Approaching 5 minutes to go, UNC is content to run the clock down.
Pass down to Hansbrough for a layup, UNC 83 NCSU 62
Simmons layup cuts the lead back to 19.
Terry hits a runner off the State turnover extending the lead back to 21.
I think it is safe to say that UNC is well on its way to its 18th win of the season.
A pair of Pack free throws cuts the lead to 19.
Green drives to the basket for a 87-66 UNC lead.
4th TV timeout.
Florida State is cleaning Maryland's clock right now leading 55-38.
One free throw for Bethel. UNC shooting 55% from the floor. Brant and Packer debate the ACC Coach of the Year between Roy and K. I think that even if Duke goes 16-0 they only did that because Sean Dockery tossed in a 40 foot shot at the buzzer to bear Va Tech.
Two free throws from Green makes the UNC lead 89-67.
Basket by State puts the lead back to 20.
Frasor air balls a three and hears it from the crowd. Perhaps the crowd should take a look at the scoreboard.
The crowd continues the airball chant even though they are getting throttled by the Heels.
A minute and half to go and the RBC is now emptying out.
Wes Miller three extends the lead to 23.
Atsur hits a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 21.
Scrub time for UNC.
Will Robinson scores perhaps for the first time in his college career.
A free throw by someone I have never seen before. Oh his name is Dewey Burke.
The final horn sounds and UNC in a surprising win blows NC State out of the RBC Center by a score of 95-71.
David Noel caught a lot of flak for calling out the NC State fans but then he walked onto State's home floor and drops 25 points and pulls down 10 rebounds.
Wrap Up Analysis
This was a big win for UNC. It showed that they were capable of going into a extremely hostile environment and thrash a higher ranked opponent. UNC won the game on two fronts: The first is the rebounding edge which was huge and the offensive rebounds were incredible. UNC also seems to have figured out how to take care of the basketball. I thought NC State did a good job of defending UNC early on but the turnover total seems to indicate that they simply did not put enough pressure on the Heels. UNC is now 9-4 in the ACC with two home games before their showdown with Duke. If their level of play continues they should handled UVa and Maryland. Duke has by no means been invincible at home as Va Tech and Florida State have proven. However, playing Duke on senior day is not a great situation. If UNC plays as well has they have been then they should at least finish 11-5 and after losing seven top scorers is incredible.
As for Wolfpack Nation, this must be tatmount to torture. All signs seemed to indicate that NC State had the superior squad this year and that this season would constitute a turning point for the Pack closing the gap between them and the 15-501 schools. NC State is now 0-3 against Duke and UNC this season. And not only was this simply a loss, UNC dominated the Pack on their home floor as though it was 1993 all over again. Pack fans should take heart though, a ACC Tournament rematch could be in the offing and at that point all bets are off. Of course I also thought NC State would win tonight.