North Carolina and N.C. State will try to build on late-season surges today when they meet for the second time this season, this time at the Smith Center. The Tar Heels will likely have back Tyler Zeller, a 7-foot freshman who has been recovering since Nov. 18 from a broken left wrist. Zeller has been practicing since last week and told Coach Roy Williams on Monday that he wanted to play again this season.
UNC to battle surging State
The Winston Salem Journal
North Carolina hasn't changed much in the last 17 days, the first time the Tar Heels played N.C. State.
A winning streak that reached five straight with a 93-76 win in Raleigh on Jan. 31 has now increased to nine in a row as No. 3 UNC (23-2, 9-2) has seized control of the ACC race, two games ahead of Duke.
But in the 8 p.m. tipoff tonight the Wolfpack (14-9, 4-6) will have a much different look than last time, when the loss to the Tar Heels increased a losing slide to six of the last eight.
It's round 2 for UNC and NC State
The Asheville Citizen-Times
Despite sitting out parts of two practices because of blows to the head, North Carolina forward Tyler Hansbrough will play against N.C. State tonight.
Despite sitting on the bench for roughly 13 weeks because of a broken left wrist, forward Tyler Zeller will likely play tonight, as well.
Heels expect an extra Tyler
The News and Observer
While most preseason talk about North Carolina focused on the return of reigning national player of the year Tyler Hansbrough, Lawson — who flirted with the NBA after last season — has proven to be the third-ranked Tar Heels' most valuable and irreplaceable player. When he plays well, North Carolina has been difficult to beat. And it's no coincidence his two worst performances this year coincided with the Tar Heels' 0-2 start in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
UNC's Lawson taking over at right time
The Associated Press
They met just 2½ weeks ago in a game that won't be soon forgotten, for all the wrong reasons.
And yet when North Carolina and N.C. State play again Wednesday night at the Smith Center, the members of both teams – with the exception of Ben McCauley and Mike Copeland – will probably need an introduction.
That's how much the Tar Heels and Wolfpack have changed in that short time.
Heels, Wolfpack have changed since first meeting
The Wilmington Star
Barring any unforeseen developments, Tyler Zeller will play for North Carolina tonight when the Tar Heels host N.C. State. "He thinks it would really help him in the long-term, and hopefully he can help this team this year," UNC coach Roy Williams said of Zeller's impending return.
Pack can expect to see Heels go bigger
The Durham Herald-Sun
North Carolina State has been on a roll since playing North Carolina just 2½ weeks ago.
The rematch Wednesday night gives the Wolfpack another chance to see where it stands.
Wolfpack tests latest positive surge against Tar Heels
The Burlington Times-News
Pennsylvania will be well represented tonight, with North Carolina's Wayne Ellington and N.C. State's Ben McCauley taking the floor for tipoff at the Smith Center.
Players from Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri will start for one team or the other as N.C. State (14-9, 4-6 ACC) visits No.3-ranked North Carolina (23-2, 9-2) at 8p.m. at the Smith Center.
Top players for UNC, N.C. State aren't homegrown
The News and Observer