The roads traveled by the UNC Tar Heels and the NC State Wolfpack athletic programs has presented area fans with wild and scenic rides. Regardless of the path followed, when both schools’ teams meet one another, the rivalry transcends daily life in the Triangle. On Saturday, when the Tar Heels (6-4, 3-3) host the Wolfpack (7-3, 4-2) at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the distint lines separating Blue and Red will ignite the rivalry for the 2010-2011 season.
Trasitioning from the field to the hardwood
During the summer, while UNC Tar Heels fans witnessed the emergence of a nationally prominent NCAA investigation that set dark clouds over the football program and the university, NC State Wolfpack supporters were celebrating the arrival of prize recruits C.J. Leslie and Ryan Harrow to help bolster their basketbll program for the upcoming season in Raleigh. As the the football season progessed, an underrated Wolfpack squad has surprised and impressed many sitting at 7-3 overall and working hard to earn a spot in the ACC Championship while the Tar Heels’ gridiron corps currently stands at a respectable 6-4 record without the presence of many key starters; casualties of the ongoing NCAA investigation. On Friday night, while the NC State Wolfpack beat George Mason 78-65 with Leslie (11 points, 17 minutes) and Harrow (14 poins, 24 minutes) posting strong performances on the hardwood, the #8 Tar Heels succumbed to Minnesota 72-67 as freshman Harrison Barnes was 0-12 from the field and contributed only 6 points in the losing cause.
Red vs. Blue – fireworks set to go off
Dominance doesn’t exist in this relationship, but respect and hard-nosed competition does. The conversation never ends with one getting the last word in over the other. As the Fall season approaches an end on the field which has both schools’ football teams bowl-eligible, Saturday’s game will begin the traditional ‘Carolina vs. State’ banter that will particularly heat up with the upcoming basketball season.
There is no doubt that since the Tar Heels are nationally ranked in basketball this early in the season that the Wolfpack is ready to pounce up to that level in the near future. That will truly set the next journey of these athletic programs on course to collide once again in the New Year during the heat of the ACC season schedule. Get the fireworks ready, set them off, and enjoy the show.
North Carolina Tarheels basketball- 2010-2011 season outlook
NC State Wolfpack basketball – 2010-2011 season outlook
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