In-State Rivalry Rematches
- North Carolina at North Carolina State at 8:00 PM on ACC Network or ESPN3.com
- Virginia at Virginia Tech at 9:00 PM on ESPNU
When North Carolina State played the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, the game turned into a 19-point rout thanks to North Carolina’s domination on the boards. In Raleigh, the Wolfpack will take a stand to try to avenge the January loss and to make a statement that will guarantee them a shot at March Madness. Right now, NC State sits right on the bubble with no wins better than Texas and Miami. A victory over North Carolina would go a long way towards ensuring that the Wolfpack goes dancing. At home, Mark Gottfried’s team will have an edge with what will surely be a raucous home crowd fired up by “Hessgate” and the natural rivalry. NC State is a very good rebounding team and the fluke bad performance in the previous meeting of these teams is largely owed to the foul trouble and limited mintes of Richard Howell, by far the team’s best rebounder. If Howell and all the other key pieces can stay on the floor, the Wolfpack very well might walk away with a signature win.
In an otherwise disappointing season, Virgina Tech’s upset of Virginia stands as a clear highlight for the Hokies. For the Cavaliers, the game was their first without starting center Assane Sene and the loss seemed to demonstrate how much they missed him. In the rematch at Blacksburg, Virginia seeks to settle the score and prove that the loss was a fluke and that they have adjusted to life without Sene. The Tar Heel and Wolfpack showdown might get more attention, but there’s liable to be plenty of heat (if not speed) in the clash between these two in-state rivals.