While I am perfectly aware of the state of NC State basketball, I have to admit that I am quite surprised that a Big Four hoops matchup is not being televised in North Carolina.Â That’s right, no TV coverage for tonight’s Wake Forest – NC State game, unless you count sitting in front of your computer and watching the game on ACC Select as “television.”Â I don’t, and I have an Internet connection and computer equipment as good as anyone out there.
Joe Ovies of 850 The Buzz put it best when he says:
“Lost in all the hype for tonightâ€™s Duke-UNC game â€” NC State hosts Wake Forest. Apparently the contest is by invitation only, with no television for the 7pm tip-off. The only way to see this game is if you have tickets, or settling in front of your computer and use â€œACC Selectâ€. Itâ€™s easy to chalk this aberration up to the Wolfpack sucking and the Demon Deacons not really having any fans outside of Winston-Salem, but there is a larger issue at work. The ACC has allowed the overarching basketball history of the conference to be pigeon-holed.
“The importance of the Duke and North Carolina on a national level can not be denied, but letâ€™s stop acting like itâ€™s the only rivalry in the ACC. Why the conference doesnâ€™t use the final weekend of conference play to promote the other intriguing rivalries is mind boggling. Never mind that NC State and Wake Forest have been playing since 1910, these teams are a huge part of the â€œBig Fourâ€ mystic and helped build the conference into a phenomenon. And itâ€™s not like these teams donâ€™t have history. Do I have to remind everyone about Julius Hodge and Chris Paul? Da Jules scoffs at bloody noses.”
I take this snub as yet another sign of how far NC State hoops has fallen and also how the ACC has essentially become a two-team league in hoops.Â Someone actually went so far as to post a thread on Pack Pride suggesting that the ten teams in the ACC not named “Duke” or “UNC” consider leaving the ACC and leaving the fifty-five year old conference to the only two teams that matter to Conference Headquarters.Â I have to admit that there are times when I feel the same way — it seems that there are two Chiefs and ten Indians in the ACC and little else.
Consider also the title of the HBO documentary: “The Battle For Tobacco Road” — a documentary that focuses exclusively on the Duke-UNC rivalry.Â I’m not going to be ignorant and say that the Battle of the Blues is not a huge rivalry or that State and Wake are consistently on par with the two schools, but the fact is that Tobacco Road starts in Raleigh, travels through Durham and Chapel Hill and ends in Winston-Salem.Â In other words, State and Wake Forest are as much citizens of Tobacco Road as Duke and UNC ever were, thank you very much.Â Any look at a “battle” involving this mythical road simply must include State and Wake or it is bogus and inaccurate.
Still, it is what it is and the only thing that NC State can do is exactly what Wake Forest is doing: step up, get better and kick some Tar Heel and Blue Devil ass long enough that the national press has to admit that there are more than two teams in the twelve team ACC.