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Four Rivals, Four Weeks: UNC Ends Tough Stretch With Wake

Tar Heels have played State, Virginia and Duke back-to-back
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This week, North Carolina completes a tough stretch of it’s four biggest rivals, back-to-back. In four weeks, the Tar Heels played NC State, Virginia, Duke and now Wake Forest. It’s the first time in ACC history the Heels have had those four teams lined up in a row.

It’s a tall task, but Mack Brown is making sure the team takes it in stride.

“It’s life,” he said. “We don’t have any choice. The best teams learn to play every week with intensity. Two of the three games, we’ve gotten to substitute a lot of people. So we should be more fresh after. Still, the emotional buildup for the NC State game, for the Duke game, spends a lot out of your players.”

Carolina knocked off State to start the stretch, then had an off day, losing to Virginia. Last week, the Tar Heels blew out Duke. The team will have to avoid a letdown against Wake Forest.

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“We’re trying tell them life’s lessons,” Brown said. “Why do a lot of bankruptcies come right after you have your best year? People get a little relaxed. Why do people not win championships year in and year out? Why do they win one one year and the next year, they’re not as good? Partly, people want to beat them—circle them. The other thing is they don’t do the little things well right after. You’re satisfied. You can’t be satisfied. We’ve got to coach harder this week than last week and act like we lost the game.”

“We’ve had Virginia Tech to Florida State,” Brown said. “NC State to Virginia. Now we’ve got Duke to Wake Forest. The pattern here is we haven’t stepped up as well after wins as we fought back after losses. So its time for us to change that pattern and play better.”