Thoughts on NC State

Luke Nadkarni wrote a piece addressing Wolfpack fans and telling them to grow up.  He wrote, “And for State fans to be throwing debris on the court at the end of the game is simply unacceptable. For as much as we brag about being great fans, we sure don’t act like it…Good fans don’t act like kindergartners when their team loses.”  Owning that is not what State fans wanted to hear, but as someone who love great basketball perhaps what needed to be said.

One the other hand, that does not take Tar Heel fans off of the hook.  I agree that the behavior and the feelings of being less than need to stop.  It must be hard to struggle to make the top 25 when you have such a great history of basketball.  But discounting NC State, beyond the usual back and forth that comes from sport and competition because I do love some trash talking, is a disservice done on our part.  Fans have called out the victory as less than citing an empty Franklin Street after the win (compared to the flooded street last week in the win over Duke).  Even ESPN was brought into the social media fray as people linked to the their listing of the UNC-NCSU rivalry as the #2 overall most one sided rivalry in the 21st century.  That is true, the 21 century has not been kind to NC State basketball, but great basketball traditions are built over decades, not years.  Tar Heel fans would do good to remember that!

I think Tar Heels need to remember history and not dismiss NCSU so easily (maybe dismiss their immature fans  like the one who threw a dip can a Paige).  The hate for Duke represents all that is good in this world, but we were a rival to State before Duke came into the picture (The oldest rivalry (in basketball) in the state is actually Duke-Wake as they used to be located so close to one another.  Also, before intercollegiate athletics, sports were played among on-campus classes- freshmen vs sophomores, etc).
One thing that being “Tar Heel born and Tar Heel Bred” is that we know good basketball, we hate hard, and we love harder.  One of the biggest faults (and there are many) of the Crazies is that they are so often from out of state, don’t know their basketball, and jump on the dook bandwagon when they come to school down here. They may (misguidedly) love dook, but don’t know anything else about southern basketball.  Tar Heels should know their history.
To be a Tar Heel is to respect the fact that we have been playing State since the 1910s (they won twice to our none in that decade).  The Pack is going through a tough time now, but history shows they are in it for the long haul.  UNC and NCSU were charter members of the SoCon (1923)  and until the 1950s State took that conference 7 to our 3 championships.  dook did not join SoCon until 1929.  Yes, We have taken State in ACC championships 17-10 since 1953.  When the ACC became large enough for divisions- State became our cross division permanent partner.  In the Dixie Classic Tourney (1949-1961), State took 7  championships to our 3.  In the Big Four Tourney (1971-81) they took 3 to our 2 championships.  No, right now there is no parity between the light blue and the red. Yes, they are acting like children.  Maybe their fans don’t know their history, but Tar Heels should.  You should hate hard, but love even harder.  We are good right now.  It feels good to tell State to stop acting like the bratty little brother, but that brother has been around longer than anyone else.  Carolina basketball is fun because we are good, but it also comes from a good history of strong basketball.  To ignore that, to make light of that just because of current basketball conditions is disingenuous to the idea of basketball from North Carolina.
But of course, GTHD!
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