Though their campuses are just a short drive from one another, the trip to Duke has not been a pleasant one for NC State in recent years.
The Wolfpack will look to stop their losing streak in their ACC rivals' building on the anniversary of their last win in Cameron Indoor Stadium when they face No. 23 Duke on Saturday.
This will be the Blue Devils' 236th consecutive game played as a ranked team. However, given the way their season has been going, there's a chance it also may be their last with that distinction.
Duke (13-4, 2-2) has split four games since conference play began, slipping past Virginia 69-65 on Monday after sophomore guard Rasheed Sulaimon banked in the go-ahead 3-pointer with 18.8 seconds left.
"We just have to run our own race. Whatever is said about us, is said about us. Win or lose," coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We're in the top 10, we're not in the top 10, we're this, we're that. I have a good basketball team and my kids played their hearts out. We're just going to keep moving on.
"Really, we'll be immune to praise or criticism because we will be our own self critics and there won't be any excuses. We're just going to play."
One of the reasons for the team's recent struggles has been the slump suffered by freshman Jabari Parker. In the team's 13 nonconference games, the forward averaged 21.4 points and 8.0 rebounds while shooting 52.8 percent. In ACC play, he is recording only 10.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest and making just 30.4 percent of his shots.
Parker had eight points and tied a season low with three rebounds Monday.
Playing in their own gym should help the Blue Devils. They've won 26 consecutive games in Cameron Indoor Stadium, which is tied with Florida and Stephen F. Austin for the longest active home win streak in the country. During that span, Duke has outscored opponents by 19.3 points per game.
"We've got to protect our home. This is our home," sophomore forward Amile Jefferson said. "When you walk out that door, you see there's white tape down. And that's us saying that when we cross that line right there, we're going to be Duke."
Playing at Cameron Indoor has troubled the Wolfpack (11-6, 1-3) a lot over the years. North Carolina State has lost 15 straight in the building, with the last win coming exactly 19 years ago on Jan. 18, 1995.
The Wolfpack will look to sophomore forward T.J. Warren to help them notch the upset. Warren leads the ACC with 22.2 points per game while also averaging 7.3 rebounds. He scored 22 before fouling out of a 70-69 loss at Wake Forest on Wednesday, N.C. State's fourth defeat in six games.
"What will help T.J. is if our other offensive players can step up and score more," coach Mark Gottfried said. "To do that, they have to have the ball more. Our big guys, we need to go to them more, and they need to develop and get better and better. As they develop more, and become more of a real offensive threat, it will open some things back up for T.J."
Because of ACC realignment, this will be the only matchup between the teams in 2013-14. It marks only the seventh time since the series began in 1911 that they will meet just once in the regular season.
The 20th-ranked Wolfpack beat No. 1 Duke 84-76 last Jan. 12.
NC State (11-6, 1-3 ACC) at No. 23 Duke (13-4, 2-2 ACC)
Game time: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2 p.m. — Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314 capacity), Durham, N.C.
PG — 2 Anthony Barber (6-2, 170, Fr., 11.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 4.2 apg)
SG — 5 Desmond Lee (6-4, 200, Jr., 10.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.6 apg)
SF — 24 T.J. Warren (6-8, 215, Soph., 22.2 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.5 spg)
PF — 32 Kyle Washington (6-9, 225, Fr., 3.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.6 apg)
C — 14 Jordan Vandenberg (7-1, 245, 5th-Sr., 6.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.2 bpg)
PG — 2 Quinn Cook (6-2, 180, Jr., 13.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.7 spg)
SG — 14 Rasheed Sulaimon (6-4, 190, Soph., 8.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.6 apg)
SF — 5 Rodney Hood (6-8, 215, R-Soph.,18.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.9 apg)
PF — 1 Jabari Parker (6-8, 235, Fr., 18.8 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.2 bpg)
C — 21 Amile Jefferson (6-9, 210, Soph., 6.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.8 apg)
Location: Durham, N.C.
Nickname: Blue Devils
2012-13 record: 30-6 overall, 14-4 ACC
2013 postseason: Duke lost 85-63 to Louisville in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski 970-301 overall (39th year) and 897-242 (34th year)
Series: Duke leads 139-98
Last meeting: Duke won 98-85 on Feb. 7, 2013, in Durham, N.C.
Duke: Freshman Jabari Parker and redshirt sophomore Rodney Hood have become a fearsome force as versatile forwards for the Blue Devils, who have posted non-conference wins over Michigan and UCLA … The 6-8, 235-pound Parker averages 18.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, and is shooting 39.1 percent on three-pointers. Parker can also score in the post and has a tough-to-defend pull-up mid-range jumper. He has scored at least 21 points in 10 games this season, and he has four double-doubles for points and rebounds … The 6-8, 215-pound Hood averaged 10.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game his freshman year at Mississippi State, but after transferring and sitting out a year he is a threat to earn All-ACC honors. Hood is averaging 18.4 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 46.8 percent from beyond the arc. He scored a season-high 30 against East Carolina Nov. 19, and he has scored at least 20 points in eight games. He scored an ACC-high 27 in the Devils' 79-57 victory against Georgia Tech on Jan. 7… Junior point guard Quinn Cook runs the squad and is another quality outside shooter. The 6-2, 180-pounder is averaging 13.2 points and 5.9 assists per game, and he is shooting 34.9 percent from three-point range. He scored a season-high 24 points and dished out nine assists in the 79-69 win over Michigan Dec. 3, and he had 22 points in Duke's 79-77 loss to Notre Dame last Saturday … Duke has rotated a pair of centers, and four different players have logged time at shooting guard next to Cook … Sophomore Amile Jefferson and senior Josh Hairston have been rotating at center, with sophomore Marshall Plumlee in the mix. The 6-8, 210-pound Jefferson is averaging 6.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game … Sophomore Rasheed Sulaimon, fifth-year senior Andre Dawkins and senior Tyler Thornton have all been featured at shooting guard. Freshman Matt Jones rounds out the group … The 6-4, 190-pound Sulaimon is averaging 8.1 points and shooting 48.4 percent from three-point land, and the 6-5, 215-pound Dawkins has shot an impressive 45.2 percent from three-point land en route to 8.8 points per contest. Dawkins, who redshirted last year, has scored at least 13 points in six games, and Sulaimon has come out of the doghouse to tally double figures in six games, including four of the last six … The 6-2, 190-pound Thornton, who also plays point guard, is averaging 2.8 points and 2.1 assists per game and is shooting 47.6 percent from three-point land.