Pack to host College GameDay Saturday morning and the ESPN primetime game Saturday night.
North Carolina (13-5, 3-2 ACC) at No. 18 NC State (15-4, 4-2 ACC)
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 | 7 p.m. | Raleigh, N.C.
PNC Arena (19,700)
SERIES RECORD: UNC leads 147-75
LAST MEETING: NC State 67, UNC 69 (3/10/12)
TELEVISION: ESPN Watch
Play by play: Dan Shulman Color: Dick Vitale Sideline: Shannon Spake
Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Jalen Rose
RADIO: NC State Radio Network Listen
Play-by-play: Gary Hahn Color: Tony Haynes
Play-by-Play: Gregg Daniels Color: Rick Mahorn
Sirius Ch. 91 XM Ch. 91
RALEIGH, N.C. - NC State coach Mark Gottfried believes his No. 18 Wolfpack is ready to hit the court running when it hosts rival North Carolina at PNC Arena Saturday in a primetime match-up that will air on ESPN at 7 p.m.
The fact that the Pack’s next opponent is the Tar Heels, the school’s nearest rival, will help Gottfried’s team capture some of the same intensity and urgency it had two weeks ago when it beat top-ranked Duke at PNC Arena.
“I think our guys will be eager to play, regardless of our opponent,” Gottfried said. “I think the fact that North Carolina’s our next opponent, I think our guys will be more than ready to play.”
“I thought [Thursday] we had a great day of practice. Hopefully, we can carry that into this weekend.”
It’s the 100th anniversary of the first meeting in the series, which dates back to Jan. 22, 1913, when the North Carolina School for Agriculture and Mechanic Arts beat UNC 26-18. Sophomore W. Sumner and Joe Mason scored 10 points each and the Techs (as NC State was called at the time) scored 10 of the game’s final 12 points.
Saturday’s sold-out contest game is the 223rd meeting between the old rivals, with the Tar Heels (13-5 overall, 3-2 ACC) holding a 147-75 edge in the all-time series.
In its last outing, against the Demon Deacons, the Wolfpack (15-4, 4-2) was hindered all night by foul trouble. The Deacons scored 51 points in the second half to overcome the Wolfpack’s double-digit lead.
Gottfried will be looking for a more consistent defensive effort from his team, without the tentativeness it showed on Tuesday.
“In college basketball, it’s a long season so those things are going to happen,” Gottfried said. “I’ve always said … it’s important how you finish. It’s a long year, with a longer ACC schedule. Whatever stretch you are in, whether you are winning or you feel like you are struggling, you just have to make sure each and every day you are improving.
“We can be better defensively. For us to become a really good team, we can’t have the lulls and periods where we are not as good defensively as we are at other times.”
Saturday, not only will the Wolfpack host the unranked Tar Heels at PNC Arena, it will also host ESPN’s College GameDay, which sets up shop on the court at the arena for live broadcasts on its various cable platforms.
“We are excited that GameDay is here,” said Gottfried, a former ESPN analyst. “It points to where our program was, where we are now and where we want to get to. We are not there yet — we are still a program that is getting back. I think the fact that ESPN chose to be here says a lot about that.
“Things have changed quickly here in a year. That’s a good thing.”