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#10 NC State vs #1 UNC

What: ACC Championship
Where: St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa Bay, FL
When: March 11th, 1:00 PM
Records: UNC, 27-6; NC State 18-14

ACC Tournament Results: UNC-def. FSU 73-58, BC 71-56. NC State-def. Duke 85-80(OT), UVa 79-71, VT 72-64.

As a longtime ACC fan I will say that this is how it should be with two of the Big Four squaring off for the ACC title.

As a UNC fan, this game scares me to death simply because NC State is playing at some insane level and somehow the Heels always seem to end up being snakebitten by situations like this. On paper NC State will be in the fourth game in four days with only seven players getting more than 10 minutes. UNC is on their third game with enough players to run two teams out there and enjoyed fairly easy routes to the title game. So in terms of fatigue and talent UNC has a huge leg up on NC State.

So why I am worried? Because for some bizarre reason NC State is capable of matching up with UNC in such a way as to completely disrupt what the Heels do. Brandon Costner is tough to guard as is Engin Atsur who seems to abuse Ty Lawson. Costner seems to be out to prove everyone wrong on the ROY award voting. You just get that feeling that NC State might come out hot in terms of shooting and UNC will not be able to throw it in the ocean.

That all being said, let me point out that UNC does have the ROY in the person of Brandan Wright. While some are convinced that Costner's outbursts are proof positive he should have been ROY I would say that Wright has gone a step further to prove that he was the correct choice. Aside from that I love what I am seeing defensively and I think Lawson-Ellington-Terry will be better than they were in the two previous meetings this season. The Pack should be tired, regardless of how well they have played, the fatigue of that many games should begin taking a huge toll especially if UNC can push the pace. The bottom line here is controlling the game from the start and making sure NC State never really gets on track with their offense. If the defense can continue to give huge trouble to the opposing team's most prolific scorer I suspect it will be a great day for UNC.

I also would like to point out that should NC State win, their fans will be insufferable in every way imaginable, so if is all the same I suggest handing NC State there lunch in a small paper bag and moving on to what we hope is a #1 seed.

UNC 84 NC State 66