RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina State is going for its fifth straight win against rival North Carolina when the teams meet Saturday.
Coach Tom O'Brien's Wolfpack (4-4, 1-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) has won all four meetings since the 2007 season. Three of the four have been close games, while the fourth was a memorable blowout of a ranked UNC team in Chapel Hill.
O'Brien says the game has always been important to his program. While former UNC coach Butch Davis often played down the buildup to the game, interim coach Everett Withers hasn't shied away from the intensity of the rivalry. His comments about UNC (6-3, 2-3) being the state's "flagship" university and academics irked O'Brien so much that he fired off several jabs about the Tar Heels' ongoing NCAA trouble.