N.C. State has lost 13 straight to North Carolina and 19 of 20 since coach Roy Williams replaced Matt Doherty in 2003.
For most of Williams' first nine seasons, UNC's wins have not been close, with the notable exception of the first game — a two-point UNC win in Chapel Hill — and the last one — a two-point UNC win in Atlanta in the ACC tournament.
Only five of the 19 losses have been by single digits, compared nine by 14 points or more. The average margin of victory for UNC in the 19 games is 13.2 points.
No one on N.C. State's roster has been a part of a win over the Tar Heels (the last State win was former coach Sidney Lowe's first game, 83-79 on Feb. 3, 2007), which would logically be a psychological advantage for UNC.
N.C. State junior Lorenzo Brown doesn't think the Wolfpack has a mental block when it comes to UNC, rather Brown said, UNC has just been better.
"It's definitely not a mental block," Brown said with a laugh. "They've had a lot of great teams the last couple of years.
"Obviously, N.C. State hasn't been up to par but now we have a great team and last year we had a great team. I think this year's team is better than last year's team but we have to work out some things."
To Brown's point, UNC has won two national titles and averaged 28.5 wins under Williams.
Over the same time, N.C. State has had as many coaches as Williams has Final Four trips (three). The Wolfpack has been to the NCAA tournament four times in nine years, the Sweet 16 once and averaged 19.3 wins.
Still, senior Richard Howell said N.C. State gets more confidence against UNC the more it plays UNC.
Last year's ACC tournament loss, 69-67 in the semifinals, came down to the final seconds. The cast of characters has changed dramatically for UNC since last March, but Howell said there's confidence to be culled from that loss.
"We definitely got that in back of our heads from last year," Howell said. "We're going to come out with the motivation that we need to win the game from the start."