The game between Tar Heels vs Blue Devils The fourth-ranked Duke Blue Devils will head into battle against the North Carolina Tar Heels in Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final regular-season game. The Saturday tip at Cameron Indoor Stadium is 6 p.m. ET. Duke beat UNC, 87-67, this Feb. 4th, and has already been declared Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season champions after Notre Dame’s loss to Florida State.
Coach K has been terrorizing opposing ACC teams and fans for decades, and there will be just as many people cheering his departure as celebrating the same, First, his star-studded squad is among the national-championship choices. Freshman Paola Banchero is the catalyst, averaging 16.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, while four other Blue Devils also average at least 10 points. Center Mark Williams has become one of the most underappreciated players in America. He may win the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year award, averaging 10.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.9 blocks in just under 23 minutes of action.
Duke’s in-state foe, UNC, currently sits third in the conference with a 22-8 record (14-5 ACC) in Hubert Davis’ first season as coach. The Tar Heels have won four straight games, and are firmly one of the NCAA Tournament teams. They will be looking to improve seeding in the brackets during their final games of the season. UNC shoots the three-ball well and is excellent at the free-throw line, both of which are extremely important in March/April college basketball.
Armando Bacot dominates the headlines for UNC, averaging 16.4 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. Caleb Love, Brady Manek, and R.J. Davis are averaging at least 13 points and over 38% from beyond the arc, providing ample spacing inside. UNC’s problem, at times, is becoming too dependent on Caleb Love launching a deep, contested three-point shot. Their undoing in the postseason could come if they cannot figure out how to get more movement with the ball.
To dislike any team as much as these two isn’t easy, as it seems nobody (except alumni and bettors, the categories not mutually exclusive) wants to see either win the Big Dance. It’s an anticipated game wherever placed on the schedule, Duke has the physical advantage with Banchero and A.J. Griffin, while Williams is, perhaps, the only center capable of matching Bacot on the inside.
Duke’s the favorite because of its recent performances and the earlier drilling of UNC. If there is one glimmer of hope for the Heels, it’s that Duke, playing the easier opponents in the ACC over their recent seven-game win streak, has been pushed to the brink by two of them. UNC had some tougher matchups recently, and will be more calloused.