In Perspective: UNC’s Home Winning Streak Against NCSU
It really goes without saying at this point (and in general) that NC State is an enigma.
UNC’s lesser-celebrated rival has seemingly been on the NCAA bubble for the past several seasons now, and their resume this year is no different: wins against Duke and Louisville and losses against Clemson, Wake Forest and Wofford.
NC State always plays with passion against the Tar Heels, and the college basketball community will certainly hope for a game half-as-entertaining as UNC’s close win at PNC Arena earlier this January. On top of the already history-filled rivalry between the two schools, the Carolina community is still reeling from the loss of the legendary Coach Dean Smith. If this combination wasn’t enough, Coach Roy Williams recently issued a challenge to Carolina fans asking for better, louder support and for them to “come in and invest.” To say Tuesday’s game will be emotionally-charged would be a bit of an understatement.
However, UNC’s home winning streak against NC State is also on the line. This streak is significant and often pointed to by Carolina fans as evidence of a downturn in the rivalry as of late. While NC State last beat UNC in 2013 in Raleigh, the Wolfpack haven’t beaten the Tar Heels at the Dean E. Smith Center since 2003.
That’s 12 years.
To put this in perspective, the last time NC State won at Carolina:
- UNC only had 3 NCAA titles
- Julius Hodge was NC State’s top player, Roy Williams was still coaching at Kansas
- The United States had not yet invaded Iraq
- The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Matrix Reloaded, and Finding Nemo had not been released.
- Friends was airing its penultimate season.
- SARS had yet to be discovered
- President Barack Obama was still an Illinois State Senator
- UNC star Marcus Paige was nine years old.
Tuesday’s game is crucial for the Heels as they will seek to keep this streak alive and keep trending in a positive direction following their close contest at Duke and blowout win against Georgia Tech. Games against NC State are rarely easy, and no one should expect this game to be any different.
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