While Duke did battle with Maryland after dropping a game against Miami, its triangle foes tested their wares against each other in their first matchup of the season. When the dust settled at the end of the week, all three teams took major hits to their record.

NC State (16-4, 5-2)

January 22: Wake Forest 86, NC State 84

No. 18 NC State had a third straight game decided by four points or fewer. Against Wake Forest, the Wolfpack were edged by two points. After going into the half leading 47-35, NC State inexplicably collapsed, as they allowed 51 second half points and were unable to contain the rampant Demon Deacon offense. However, two players reached significant milestones as Richard Howell and Lorenzo Brown with their double-doubles each reached the 1,000 point mark for the Wolfpack. Howell had 13 points and 16 rebounds to go with Brown’s 13 points and 10 assists. The only things that kept NC State from winning was foul trouble, as Howell fouled out and Brown, Leslie and Wood all finished the game with four fouls each, and poor free throw shooting—they shot just 56 percent from the charity stripe.

January 26: North Carolina 83, NC State 91

Coming off a bad loss to Wake Forest, the Wolfpack were all locked in for a big game against their Triangle rivals. The extra focus allowed NC State to break the Tar Heels' impressive 13 game win streak against them. Most notably in this game is the fact that as a team the 'Pack committed just nine personal fouls. On any given night Richard Howell and C.J. Leslie could get to nine alone, but not Saturday. Howell, Leslie, and the game's leading scorer Lorenzo Brown all posted double-doubles while freshman T.J. Warren tossed in 19 points off the bench on 9-of-12 shooting.

Analysis: NC State continues to impress offensively with its shooting, rebounding and passing but as Wake Forest showed, the Wolfpack’s defense is not yet firing on all cylinders. NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said, “I thought the difference in the game was our inability to guard anyone in the second half. We just didn’t defend.” When the NC State defense is clicking and they aren't committing excessive fouls, like we saw against the Tar Heels, they are just as dangerous as the team they were expected to be when they were preseason No. 6.

Upcoming: January 29 vs. Virginia; February 2 vs. Miami

UNC (13-6, 3-3)

January 23: Georgia Tech 63, North Carolina 79

Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston combined to lead North Carolina past Georgia Tech and give the Tar Heels a winning ACC record. Bullock lead UNC with 17 points and added six rebounds while Hairston scored 15 points. James Michael McAdoo who grabbed nine rebounds to go with his 14 points, was also a factor. However the Heels only shot 43 percent from the floor and were only 59 percent from the free throw line. Strong defense forced 19 turnovers and the team added 10 blocks and nine steals, masking the somewhat poor offense.

January 26: North Carolina 83, NC State 91

The Tar Heels got off to an exceptionally slow start, heading to the locker room trailing 45-26 and ultimately dropped its first game to the Wolfpack in their last 14 contests. P.J. Hairston continued to play well for North Carolina, scoring 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting, but minimal production from the starters hurt the Tar Heels. James Michael McAdoo double-doubled with 13 points and 11 rebounds and Reggie Bullock contributed another 10 points. A strong second half saved the day from a statistical stance, but North Carolina was doomed in this one after the sluggish start.

Analysis: Reggie Bullock continues to impress as he takes on the scoring burden for North Carolina but he’s been supported very well by an improving James Michael McAdoo whose physical presence in the ‘D’ allows for other players to get more space. While this team isn’t being viewed as serious ACC contenders, they most definitely have the capability to cause major upsets against the frontrunners on their day.

Upcoming: January 29 at Boston College; February 2 vs. Virginia Tech