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North Carolina’s Strickland on ACC Predictions: Can’t Put North Carolina State In The Mix



Dexter Strickland isn’t buying into the North Carolina State Wolfpack hype.

The North Carolina Tar Heels’ senior was asked after practice Thursday about the preseason predictions that have the Wolfpack as early ACC favorites.

“They talk those guys up every single year and we beat them every single year,” Strickland told Jeff Goodman of CBSsports.com. “They are the least of our worries. Beat us one year and then they can talk smack. Until then, you can’t put them in the mix.”

Strickland isn’t exactly lying. He’s never lost to N.C. State as a member of the Tar Heels and the Wolfpack havn’t beaten North Carolina since Feb. 3, 2007 in a 83-79 victory on home court. The taste of victory wouldn’t last long as North Carolina got revenge 18 days later on Feb. 21 in a 83-64 blowout victory. They’d play for a third time that season in the 2007 ACC Tournament Championship that the Tar Heels won 89-80 with Brandan Wright taking home MVP honors.

Since Feb. 3 2007, the Wolfpack and Tar Heels have played 13 times with the Tar Heels winning every time. They have a 14.8 point average margin of victory over that span. In fact, only three of the games had a separation in single digits, with two of them being nine point differences.

Strickland has only been a part of four games against N.C. State but is averaging 11.5 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in those games.

Strickland will look to add to those averages when the Tar Heels visit the Wolfpack on Jan. 26 and then again on home court Feb. 23. Dates that Strickland, and most likely every member of the Wolfpack, have circled on the calendar.