North Carolina State, which has been on the rise this season, will test that strength in Tuesday night's matchup against visiting No. 12 North Carolina.

The Wolfpack's No. 15 ranking is the school's highest since January 2013.

The rivals will meet at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.

"We're playing good basketball at both ends of the floor," N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said. "With so many new pieces, I feel like we're getting better from every practice to every game situation."

N.C. State (13-1) and North Carolina (11-3) opened Atlantic Coast Conference play with road victories last week, though they came in different fashions.

The Wolfpack needed a comeback from a 10-point, second-half deficit to win 87-82 at Miami. The Tar Heels breezed past Pittsburgh, 85-60.

"We know we're catching a different animal," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. "We know it's going to be a different battle. We know we have to play a heck of a lot better ourselves. But ACC basketball is here and you're going to have a difficult challenge every night."

This is the Wolfpack's best record through 14 games since the 1973-74 season, when they won a national championship.

That would certainly account for much of the hype surrounding this game so early in the conference season. Plus, the Wolfpack hold a 12-game home winning streak.

"We really haven't talked about the buzz a lot," said Keatts, realizing there's plenty of outside noise associated with the matchup. "It's just about what we have to do to be successful in the game."

N.C. State guard Markell Johnson has had his most productive games against the more-established opponents on the schedule. He scored 20 points in the ACC opener.

"We need him to do more with this team if you look at from last year to this year," Keatts said. "In order for this team to be successful, we asked him to do more things, especially scoring the basketball."

North Carolina freshman guard Coby White scored 22 points in his ACC debut.

North Carolina, which will be taking on a ranked opponent for the fifth time, is 9-1 this season when reaching the 80-point mark.

The Tar Heels have dealt with turnover issues in several games, but they might be getting that under control. They have committed 11 turnovers in each of the past two games, showing improvement.

"It was better Saturday and they tried to press us," Williams said of the Pittsburgh game. "Still, three or four of them were just the silly variety and those we have to eliminate. We want to continue to attack; we just want to do it under control."

The road team won each meeting last season.

"They certainly have a different team and so do we," Keatts said.

North Carolina has won 13 of its 15 road assignments against the Wolfpack under Williams, including all of the past five.

This marks the 11th time overall and second time in three seasons that the Tar Heels will open ACC play with two road games. They have swept two games in this situation six times.

Copyright 2019 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.