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Courtney Banghart Winds NC State Fans Up

Not that they usually need much when it comes to UNC

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - Sweet 16 - Greensboro
Courtney Banghart will not be getting a lot of this from NC State fans after her recent podcast comments.
Photo by Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

UNC women’s basketball coach Courtney Banghart is in a bit of hot water: she appeared on The Tar Heel Show podcast recently and talked about UNC’s rivalries with Duke and NC State.

Here’s what she said: “You’re asking me who I hate less? I hate both of them more than probably I should because I don’t have the history that everybody else has. Duke is a national and international rivalry that I love. NC State fans are so classless, I don’t even like going there, right? So, I don’t know. It’s a hard one.

“I have more respect for Duke, but I like beating them because they are more relevant. NC State is just mean to us and each other.”

Given State’s greater success in women’s basketball recently, we’re not sure how she thinks that Duke is more revelant. Maybe it’s just that Duke is more relevant to UNC than State is.

That’s funny because while Duke and UNC have a serious rivalry there is a lot of respect. It’s very different for UNC and NC State.

UNC really doesn’t take State very seriously but State - and more importantly State fans - take UNC extremely seriously. This was never more evident than during the academic scandal when NC State fans scored some major hits against UNC, including uncovering Julius Pepper’s dismal transcripts and finding the source of a plagiarized paper that derailed a lawsuit by former UNC football player Michael McAdoo.

However, Banghart isn’t wrong about State fans being ugly. We’ve been to events at State and seen it ourselves. But one of our favorite State fans summed it up for us best when he said “Duke fans cheer really loud together. State fans just scream and not together.”

Still, Banghart, who hasn’t really made many egregious mistakes since arriving in Chapel Hill, knows she stepped in it.

Needless to say, UNC’s next visit to Reynolds - she also disparaged the gym, calling it “a small gym” - is going to be extremely intense, because the small gym is going to be packed full of people who will be thrilled at the chance to be “mean” to her.

Presumably it was unintentional, but Banghart probably kicked the rivalry up a notch or two. Stay tuned.