The Roy Williams ceremony was perhaps the one thing that kept fans on their seats during halftime. The game was over by intermission. It felt that way at least. It was Roy Williams Day at the Dean Dome. This was fitting considering N.C. State is in town. Williams was a successful coach at UNC for 18 years, winning 33-5. Hubert Davis, the Tar Heels’ first-year head coach, got off to an excellent start with a win of 100-80 in his first encounter with the Wolfpack. UNC was quick to throw one after the other. Kevin Keatts, N.C. State’s head coach, has praised his team’s fight throughout the year. The Wolfpack was unable to defeat the Tar Heels. Fans could count on N.C. State to stick around and give their all, even when the Xs or Os didn’t work for them this season. There was always hope that the team would claw and scratch, just enough to make the deficit smaller and make the game interesting. It didn’t happen on Saturday.

UNC was hot and led by 25 at halftime. This was the Keatts’ largest halftime deficit. Keatts stated, “We ran into an aggressive Carolina team on the highway.” It was difficult because they hadn’t shot the ball as well throughout the year. They were amazing behind the three-point line. Everyone was great. Everyone shot a great percentage.” Williams was recognized at halftime and encouraged fans to shout louder for UNC to beat N.C State 51-51 at the Smith Center in 2018. The snowstorm caused the game to be delayed 17 hours. It looked like the Wolfpack could have needed an additional 17 hours of preparation. This might not have been enough time to slow down Tar Heels.

Keatts stated that the Heels were “defensively, I thought they hit some really really, really tough shots today.” The Heels were on fire from the start, with a Brady Manek three (17 points, 5-7 from three), that barely moved the nets to a R.J. Davis three to begin the second half. UNC scored 15 3-pointers, which is the most N.C. State had ever given up this year. Caleb Love, the Heels’ point guard, had eight points at one point while the Wolfpack had only seven. It was a 16-7 score at that point, but it felt like a much bigger deficit. This was the second time this season N.C. State had never led. Manek and his team were left open for too many 3s by the Wolfpack. The Heels were still taken by the Pack on rare occasions when they were challenged to shoot. UNC scored 56 percent on three. UNC had six players who hit at least one of the three. Terquavion Smith and Jericole Hellems were the only Wolfpack players to get anything going (10-12, 3-8). They combined for 59 points, with Smith scoring a career-high 34. They received little help from anyone else. The N.C. State bench scored only nine points.

Dereon Seabron was the Pack’s leading scorer going into the contest. He finished the season with two points. This is the first season that he has not scored in double figures. The native Norfolk player played only four minutes in the second period. Keatts stated that he didn’t feel Keatts was playing well. It’s the same as any other player on our team. If you don’t play well, someone else gets the chance. “I just didn’t believe he had it tonight for any reason.” He might not have made much difference. Carolina paid tribute to the 1982 National Title team during a timeout in second half. N.C. State made 2021-22 Heels look like they were the second coming of this team throughout the day. Keatts stated, “They were really hot tonight.” “I don’t know if the Heels will shoot the ball as well the rest of this year,” Keatts said. Four players scored double-digits for the Heels. Love was North Carolina’s leading scorer with 21 points. Carolina’s play at the post was anticipated to be an advantage going into the game. The game ended 28-22 in favor of Carolina. Two games ago, the Wolfpack might have exhausted all of its shooting skills against Virginia. N.C. State scored 12 triples against Cavaliers. The Pack has shot 31% and 40% from three in the two subsequent games.

The Wolfpack fell to 7-29 against UNC in the Smith Center. N.C. State will play its next three games at the PNC. Keatts and co. are looking forward to Wake Forest, Notre Dame, and Syracuse. After going 3-6 in January the Pack ended the month with the worst loss of the season. Smith stated, “We just need to bounce back.” We must keep our eyes on the defensive. It is necessary to begin stacking stops. It’s impossible to stack stops if we don’t.