For too long, it was just one line on a 16-game Atlantic Coast Conference schedule.
For too long, N.C. State tried to minimize the importance of its annual showdowns with North Carolina, trying too hard to detach itself from the fervent emotion of a rivalry that stretches back 95 years.
For too long, with UNC winning 17 of 22 meetings over the previous 10 seasons, the Wolfpack felt too much like discarded chewing gum being ground into the treads of the Tar Heelsâ€™ sneaker bottoms.
On the heels of State’s big win Saturday beowulf served some great crow to the media ‘pundits’ that had so much criticism to share last year when Lee Fowler bungled his way through the coaching search.
This afternoon we want to highlight a few articles from Sunday’s local media today that deserve some special mention like the the piece that provided us the quote that led this entry (and was also the source for these quotes)
* Caulton Tudor of the News & Observer (Link)
It’s funny how things can work out in the Triangle.
Had Carolina won as convincingly as many people expected, most of the postgame questions for the Tar Heels would have been about Wednesday’s trip to Duke and how the Blue Devils might react after a wrenching overtime loss at Virginia in their last outing.
State’s players ended that conversation before it began. All it took to pull the Tar Heels back to earth was an emphatic reminder that there are three programs in this neighborhood.
And while Williams will turn the outcome into psychological fuel, Lowe can use it as the best possible example of what his program can still do and where it is headed.
For the first-year coach, it was only one game. But it was one game that will help build confidence this season and enhance recruiting for seasons to come. It was his first win in the series as a coach, but it won’t be his last.
* Frank Dascenzo of the Durham Herald. (Link)
“It’s a big win, but it’s one win,” Lowe said.
Nice try, coach.
Lowe knew darn well what had just happened. It took his coach eight games to beat the Heels. It took Norm Sloan, the only other coach in N.C. State history with an NCAA title, 11 games to finally beat the Heels 82-70 on Dec. 18, 1970, at the Big Four Tournament in Greensboro.
Lowe talked about family and tradition and about former players showing up in his locker room. He said there was no coincidence to the red blazer. Believe that if you want.
“You’ll see it again,” Lowe said.
You bet you will.
* Andy Katz at ESPN is ‘starting to believe’ as he blogged the big win. (Link)
The feeling around the locker room, according to Towe, is that Sidney Lowe won’t let this team quibble. He said Lowe’s demeanor and NBA background of coming up with ways to score is helping this team continue to improve and define itself as a gritty bunch.
* Nothing special from the Charlotte Observer to share. No surprise.