?Tongiht one of the ACC's best rivalries gets to write a new chapter,as the Wolfpack of NC State make their annual trip to Chapel Hill to take on the Tar Heels of North Carolina. Both teams enter the game with an 1-1 record in ACC play, and are coming off huge wins earlier in the week. Carolina responded after a disappointing loss at Georgia Tech to beat Clemson 89-86 in overtime on Tuesday night. NC State meanwhile throttled Virgina Tech 104-78 Wednesday night in Raleigh, behind a triple double from the sensational freshman Dennis Smith Jr. Tonight's game figures to be one of the best game of the early conference season and the individual matchup of Dennis Smith Jr vs Joel Berry II should be a thrill for fans to watch.
??What You Need to Know about NC State:
?The Wolfpack are coming off an disappointing 16-17 mark from a year ago but the team has vastly improved. Mark Gotfried has done an respectable job getting State in a position to compete on a yearly basis in the sports toughet conference. State is led by the aforementioned Dennis Smith Jr, but this years team is more than a one man show. The Wolfpack also have returning starters in Maverick Rowan and Beejay Anya. Terry Henderson and Torin Dorn are both shooting over 40% from behind the 3 point line. Factor in another fantastic freshman in Omer Yurtseven and Abdul Malik-Abu and State is an handful in the post.
??The Tar Heel Perspective:
Tonight Roy Williams to look to improve to 26-3 against State as the head man in Chapel Hill. Carolina is coming off an important road win at Clemson, that help them avoid an 0-2 start in ACC play. Theo Pinson will make his season debut and his impact should be felt immediately. As Carolina will look to improve to 2-1 in the ACC let's see what we need to watch on offense, defense and key player to keep our eyes on tonight:
??1 Thing To Watch On Offense: Offensive Rebounding:
?There probably isn't a team in the country that values rebounding the basketball more than UNC. Here are some numbers to prove that statement: UNC leads the ACC in rebounding margin, rebound per game and offensive rebounds per game. Carolina ranks in the top 2 nationally in those categories as well. Tonight, though offensive rebounds might be hard to come by, as State has the size and strength inside, to keep UNC off the glass. Which is important for State, because Carolina has scored over 20 points a game in second chance opportunities seven times this year.
??1 Thing To Watch On Defense: Perimeter Defense:
UNc for the most last game has been a pretty good defensive team this year. One of their biggest issues have been their ability to guard the ball and stop the dribble drive. With someone as explosive as Dennis Smith Jr the Tar Heel ability to guard the ball and contain the ball may be what decides this game. With the return of Theo Pinson, he should help sure up the Tar Heel defense. ?
??1 Player To Watch: Theo Pinson