The rivalry between N.C. State and North Carolina has been lopsided for eight years, but the teams have switched roles heading into today's game at the Smith Center. N.C. State (15-5, 4-1 ACC) is the team sharing first place in the ACC and brimming with confidence, and North Carolina (16-3, 3-1) is the one with a big hole in its lineup while struggling in some respects. Tipoff will be at 7 p.m. in the first of the teams' two meetings this season. N.C. State's Mark Gottfried will coach his first game in the rivalry, and North Carolina will play its first game since junior guard Dexter Strickland, its best defensive player, was lost for the season last Thursday after tearing the anterior-cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Resurgent Wolfpack to take on Tar Heels tonight
The Winston Salem Journal
Sophomore shooting guard Reggie Bullock will be making his first start when North Carolina hosts N.C. State tonight (7 p.m., ESPN). But it wasn't his outside shooting, rebounding or defense that the 6-7 Bullock was focusing on when teammate P.J. Hairston saw him before UNC's practice on Tuesday.
Bullock eyes PG minutes as UNC prepares for Wolfpack rivalry
The Durham Herald-Sun
It's easy for North Carolina coach Roy Williams to find company this week on a certain topic.
"I've always had that feeling that it's an important game," Williams said of when the Tar Heels face North Carolina State.
The programs meet for the 220th time tonight and it's the Tar Heels who are seeking to raise their collective levels of play.
It marks the first time this season they'll be without junior guard Dexter Strickland, who's out for the season with a torn knee ligament suffered a week ago at Virginia Tech.
Tar Heels put plan together for life after Strickland
The Burlington Times-News
Tonight Gottfried gets his first chance to truly experience life in his new neighborhood when he takes his Wolfpack (15-5, 4-1) to Chapel Hill to face No. 7 North Carolina (16-3, 3-1). With N.C. State coming off three straight victories and North Carolina still smarting from a blowout loss at Florida State and a season-ending knee injury to shooting guard Dexter Strickland, the game has the full attention of both teams.
In addition to trying to end a 10-game losing skid against its chief rival, the game offers N.C. State a chance to validate the hot start that has it tied for first in the ACC.
New Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried embraces N.C. State-UNC rivalry's intensity
The Fayetteville Observer
Inked on the inside of Reggie Bullock's right bicep is the number 252 — the area code of his hometown Kinston.
For the sophomore guard, the tattoo serves as a constant reminder of where he came from and how he got to where he is today.
UNC's Reggie Bullock ready to start
The Daily Tar Heel
When Roy Williams arrived at North Carolina as a freshman in 1968, some of his old high school friends were over at N.C. State, and they gave Williams enough of a hard time about attending UNC that he still remembers it 44 years later.
Williams received enough grief, he said Wednesday, to last "the rest of my life."
"And I didn't appreciate it and didn't like it," he said.
Williams never forgot. And so in his mind, the rivalry between North Carolina and N.C. State never faded. Since then, the North Carolina-Duke rivalry has overtaken UNC-N.C. State as the fiercest, most competitive basketball rivalry in the area, if not the country.
North Carolina-North Carolina State rivalry never fades
The Lexington Herald-Leader
Roy Williams has never been shy about voicing his disdain for rival N.C. State.
Earlier this year, he even suggested – at least half jokingly – that he'd like to bring a BB gun with him to the Smith Center so that he can "burn the rear end" of anyone wearing red in the crowd when his North Carolina basketball team plays the Wolfpack.
UNC's Williams explains his dislike for N.C. State
The Wilmington Star-News
N.C. State senior C.J. Williams has spent his career trying to reverse the Wolfpack's struggles, so he couldn't resist the temptation to take a quick peek at the Atlantic Coast Conference standings earlier this week.
There it was: N.C. State tied atop the league — not to mention ahead of No. 7 North Carolina heading into tonight's game.
UNC-Wolfpack in ACC showdown
The Asheville Citizen-Times -Record