Mark Gottfried was met with boos when he was introduced in front of his home crowd on Wednesday night.
The night only got worse for a coach squarely on the hot seat. N.C. State lost to No. 10 North Carolina, 97-73, extending the team’s losing streak six.
The week began with WTVD in Raleigh reporting on Monday night that Gottfried would be removed of his head coaching duties at the season’s end. Wednesday’s night result didn’t help diffuse those rumors, or calm a frustrated fanbase.
North Carolina pounded N.C. State by 51 points five weeks ago in Chapel Hill. They got the Tar Heels on their home floor, days after news broke that their head coach would reportedly be fired in the ensuing months. Given the circumstances, you’d think this would be a situation where the Wolfpack rallied together and landed a signature win in an otherwise underwhelming season.
Instead, it took the Tar Heels only seven minutes to open up a double-digit lead. Sure, N.C. State made a run later in the half, cutting the lead to six, but North Carolina two touchdowns heading into halftime.
Wednesday night’s result was similar to the first meeting. North Carolina jumped out to an early lead, feasted on the inside (scoring 60 points in the paint and nearly doubling up the Wolfpack in second chance points), and took advantage of 17 N.C. State miscues, scoring 23 points off turnovers.
Again, you think the effort would be there. This quote from Joel Berry, who scored 19 points, says different.
Gottfried has been to four NCAA Tournaments in his first five seasons. Barring an unlikely run during the final five regular season games and the ACC Tournament, these reports will in all likelihood prove to be true. Wednesday night’s result indicated that a late-season surge won’t occur.