Surging Tar Heels, Wolfpack Set To Collide in Saturday Smith Center Showdown
CHAPEL HILL– North Carolina men’s basketball, 13-7 overall and 3-4 in the ACC, will be searching for its third straight victory when it takes on 14-7 N.C. State, 4-4 in conference, Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Dean Smith Center.
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On Wednesday night in icy Atlanta, the Tar Heels pulled away down the stretch against Georgia Tech while the Wolfpack were busy taking care of Florida State in Raleigh.
Head Coach Roy Williams says the key to the recent run by the Tar Heels after the rough 0-3 start to ACC play, is really simple.
“You guys have heard this so much that I feel like I should create something else. I think it’s just that we’ve played with a greater sense of urgency. I really do. We’ve put teams on the free throw line way too much. We’ve shot free throws a little bit better. You can figure out ten or 15 things, but I think the reality is that we’ve just played with much greater sense of urgency,” Coach Williams says.
Carolina’s defense will be put to the test against sophomore sensation T.J. Warren. Warren is averaging 22.2 points per game this season.
Coach Williams says he can find no weakness in his game.
“He’s a scorer. He can drive it to the basket, he can pull up, and he can shoot from three. He gets fouled, goes to three free throw line and makes his free throws. He can score in traffic. We recruited him really hard. There was a reason,” Coach Williams says.
However, Coach Williams has fared pretty well through the years against the Wolfpack. He owns a 20-2 record as the UNC head coach and has never lost to the conference rival in Chapel Hill.
But Coach Williams says he doesn’t spend much time thinking about that home streak.
“I take pride in beating anyone, any time, anywhere and any place. If I didn’t say anything at all, nothing, not one word about 56 [Clemson home streak] in a row, why do you think I’m going to say something about whatever. Think about that, guys. There is a long way between ten and 56. I didn’t say anything about that – never have, never will,” Coach Williams says.
Carolina leads the all-time series with N.C.State 148-76, but the two programs split the two games played in the 2013 season, each protecting their home court.
The 1 p.m. contest will be nationally televised on ESPN2 and as always, you can listen to the broadcast live on 97.9 FM, WCHL.