N. C. State at UNC, Sunday 3:30 p.m., ESPN

For the first time since 2016-17, I cannot positively pick us to win or even that the game is a toss-up. I never will outright pick us to lose, but the first sentence is as close to that as it can be. Where is that "Something Like This" (Cold Play) player that Elissa Cunane was?

Right now ESPN women's basketball has State as a number 5 seed. The last time State was not at least a number 4 seed was in 2017 and that was truly bogus. I am going to tell you why. In 2017 State finished 23-9 overall; 12-4 in conference; 5th place. State beat at home number 2 Notre Dame to start conference play. State followed that by beating number 6/7 FSU there. State also had wins over Number 12/15 Duke at home and on the road over number 9/7 Louisville. State finished 5th in the conference and while Miami finished 7th at 10-6, they were given the number 4 seed in the Stockton Region. We got a 6 seed in the Lexington Regional.

On to the game. At this time State has a 62 wins to UNC's 53 wins. UNC came close to catching us (maybe trailed us by 1 or 2 games), but under Coach Moore we have stretched the lead again. State's longest winning streak was 19 games between 1976 and 1982. UNC's longest winning streak was 8 games between 2012 and 2015. State has won 7 out of the last 10 and the last one, at Chapel Hill, 62-53.

From warrennolan, State's overall record is 13-4; their conference record is 3-3; their NET is 13; their Live RPI is 7; their non-conference RPI is 2; their ELO is 17; and their SOS is 4. State's quad 1 NET record is 3-3 and their quad 1 RPI record is 4-3. State's best win is still that over NET 14 Iowa. State has split their last six games following each win with a loss.

Also, from warrennolan, UNC's overall record is 11-5; their conference record is 2-3; their NET is 22; their Live RPI is 23; their non-conference RPI is 19; their ELO is 33; and their SOS is 8. UNC's NET quad 1 record is 4-5 and their RPI quad 1 record is 5-5. UNC's best win was the home win over NET 7 Notre Dame. UNC lost 4 in a row before winning their last two-the win over Notre Dame and a win at UVA.

Nolan picks UNC to beat State 71-69. Nolan predicts State to finish with a 20-9 overall record and a 10-8 conference record. Nolan picks UNC to finish overall 20-9 and 11-7 in the conference.

Lobo of Her Hoop Stats picks us to win 68.7 to 66.8 with a 56.5%-win probability. Got to say this about Lobo: she has picked us to win every game we have played so far except that at UConn (yes, she picked us to beat Iowa)!

Important players for UNC are five-eight junior Deja Kelly who is leading the team in scoring at 16.6 ppg, six-foot junior Kennedy Todd-Williams who is scoring 13.9 points per game and six-one junior Alyssa Ustby who is scoring 13.8 points per game. However, five-nine freshman Paulina Paris led the team in scoring in the win over Notre Dame with 16. In watching a few UNC games, I noted that Paris is capable of blowing by her defender to score at the basket and she mainly goes to her left.

Now to get in a few digs. Pretty sure that big gym will not even be close to full and much of the crowd will be State fans. It used to be the opposite when UNC played at State before Reynolds was remodeled. Now our "little quiet gym" is by large filled with State fans although I did have a Duke loud mouth sitting behind for the first half of the Duke game. Quite shocking.

No matter what I wrote about this game, State's women's team is my number one sports team and they have my complete support. So, prove Nolan wrong and Lobo right! Go Pack! "We Need a Hero"