North Carolina is all but assured of a reserved spot in next month's NCAA tournament, but N.C. State isn't. Time is running out on the Wolfpack to notch a signature win that will firm up its postseason future. Its last good chance of the regular season will come today when the Tar Heels visit Raleigh for an 8 p.m. game at the RBC Center. The game will end the toughest stretch of the season for N.C. State, a period of three games in six days against the ACC's top three teams. N.C. State lost the first two games, dropping decisions at home to Florida State last Saturday and at Duke last Thursday, and its urgency to win is nearing desperation.
Tar Heels to visit hungry Wolfpack tonight
The Winston Salem Journal
After missing out on the NCAA Tournament during Sidney Lowe's five years at the helm, N.C. State is on the cusp of a berth under first-year coach Mark Gottfried.
But the Wolfpack doesn't have that guaranteed just yet. And after blowing two big opportunities to get a quality win in the past five days, their last chance to beat a ranked team in the regular season comes tonight when No. 7 North Carolina visits the RBC Center (8 p.m).
Tar Heels won't take Pack lightly
The Durham Herald-Sun
For all of the weapons North Carolina wields with its offense, which ranks second nationally in scoring, Kendall Marshall is convinced the Tar Heels' preeminent element lurks elsewhere.
"On the defensive end, I think that's the staple of our team," the point guard said. "We have the ability. We know the concepts. I think the sky's the limit when we go out there and exert the effort defensively."
A growing hit list of Atlantic Coast Conference teams is likely to concur.
With more emphasis on defense, Tar Heels could make it a tall task for N.C. State
The Burlington Times-News
As if the eventual ACC regular season champion wasn't enough of a mystery, N.C. State almost shook up the conference standings even more Thursday when it was minutes away from knocking off No. 5 Duke.
N.C. State to host Tar Heels tonight
The Daily Tar Heel
John Henson has blocked shots in more important games, and in more important moments, but his favorite blocked shot remains his first. It came in the second game of his freshman season at North Carolina, with the Tar Heels leading N.C. Central by 42 points.
UNC's Henson chasing blocked-shot record
The Charlotte Observer