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Winter weather shouldn’t delay UNC vs NCSU if at all possible

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Inclement weather threatens yet another in-state game for Carolina. If possible, it would be favorable to play tomorrow as planned

North Carolina State v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Let me start out with the disclaimer that if having the game as planned tomorrow would put anyone in danger, then it shouldn’t happen. I’m not some lunatic that thinks sports are the most important thing on this earth. So, hear me when I say that safety is at the utmost concern.

As many of you know, a similar instance happened in 2014 when snowy weather postponed the Duke-Carolina game in the Smith Center. It was reported that the bus meant to take the Blue Devils to Chapel Hill was not able to make it to Duke, and that was the main reason why the game was postponed.

Point being, if special arrangements can be made so that both teams, officials, and Smith Center staffers can arrive at the game safely, it should be played tomorrow. Here’s why it would be most advantageous, especially for the Tar Heels.

Schedule

One of the most crucial aspects of this inclement weather issue is rescheduling. Basketball schedules are set up differently than football schedules, as you know. With over 30 regular season games to get through, and only a few months to do it, each team must play multiple games per week. Looking ahead at the upcoming schedules, neither team has more than four days in between games with the exception of once.

Squeezing in a postponed UNC-NCSU game in those days would be tough for two reasons. Firstly, two games in such quick succession would be doable, but not practical in the middle of the season. Yes, NCAA tournament rounds are only played with one day in between, but I think the mindset of “The Big Dance” takes over in this instance. Teams are concerned with surviving during these games, not tinkering with lineups, attending classes, or getting maximum rest. Two quick games in the middle of the season would be tougher, and could throw off both teams. Also, rescheduling this game would require coordination between both teams schedules, which is not an easy task.

For UNC, specifically, their ACC schedule is very back-loaded. From February 4th to March 4th, Carolina will play six ACC games against teams in the Top 25, including Duke and Virginia twice. As much as it pains me to say, the Wolfpack have themselves a solid team with freshman Dennis Smith Jr. at the helm. Adding another tough rivalry game in the mix during that time span could be detrimental.

NC State’s “Momentum”

Another reason why Tar Heel fans should be pulling against a reschedule is the game that immediately preceded this one for NC State. In case you missed it, the Pack absolutely demolished Virginia Tech on Wednesday. That game was on the heels of a 18-point loss to Miami. Here’s what Smith had to say about it, and how it affected their play against the Hokies:

"I feel like everybody was embarrassed. That was an embarrassing loss," Smith said. "I don't think anybody could sleep easy that night. So we came into practice and went hard and it showed in the game."

The same logic could work in reverse on Saturday against Carolina. Last season, the unranked Wolfpack came up with a 16-point win over #15 Miami in Raleigh. Much like Smith almost a year before, Mark Gottfried cited their play in practice as key in the win. Unfortunately the momentum didn’t carry over when they lost a winnable game against Florida State a few days later.

This series of games was last year and not exactly comparable to this year’s two games against Virginia Tech and now UNC, but there’s something there. Perhaps NC State’s win on Wednesday was too big, and they’re feeling too confident in their preparation for Saturday. There’s no way to know until the ball is tipped, but I would take a satisfied NC State over a hungry and frustrated NC State any day.

Fun

Honestly, who doesn’t love a good snow day in North Carolina? We’re situated just south enough that we have beautiful weather for much of the year, but just north enough that it still sometimes snows. Tipoff for UNC-NCSU is scheduled for 8:00 pm. If you have tickets to the game, you have plenty of time to make it over to Chapel Hill (safely, of course) during the day. If not, imagine capping off a Saturday in the snowy winter wonderland with a warm fire, hot cocoa, and some Carolina basketball. I don’t know about y’all, but that sounds pretty nice to me.

Regardless if the game is played on Saturday, I hope everyone stays safe this weekend. If it’s feasible, I hope the game is played as planned, and that the Heels are able to keep their momentum in ACC play. Stay tuned to Tar Heel Blog and GoHeels.com for the latest on tomorrow’s game.