|UNC fans didn't go home disappointed Thursday. Ethan Hyman photo.|
Still, it showed that UNC is still far ahead. For the Tar Heels, that’s both good and bad. The good is obvious enough. The bad, though, is that competition breeds success. Years and years – and years – ago, part of the reason why North Carolina became a national power was because Everett Case’s dominant N.C. State teams in the early years of the ACC forced the Tar Heels to raise their game. And the rivalry went back and forth through the 1950s, '60s, '70s and '80s.
Since, of course, it has grown significantly one-sided.
No, the gap between UNC and N.C. State isn’t as wide as it was during the Les Robinson years, or when Javi Gonzalez struggled to bring the ball up the court against Ty Lawson just a few years ago. But it’s still wide and doesn’t appear to be shrinking any time soon.
-- Andrew Carter