(15) UNC vs. (4) Duke, The Showdown: Fan Preview)
The greatest rivalry in all of basketball is underway tonight. It’s the showdown: the North Carolina Tar Heels (18-7) vs. the Duke Blue Devils (22-3). This is our fan preview where Martin (Duke fan) and Ryan (UNC fan) offer keys to their team’s victory.
Duke and UNC are both in the top five of the ACC standings, with all five of those teams being in the top 25. These two programs have split the last 20 meetings with each winning ten of those. North Carolina leads 44-43 in their last 87 match ups.
The Tar Heels lead the ACC in rebounding with over 42 boards per game this season. They lead all major conferences in points in the paint (38.2) followed by Duke (37). The Blue Devils, however, give up the most points in the paint in the ACC (31.4).
And now some fan talk.
Carolina talk (from Ryan):
When you look up tradition, you see the University Of North Carolina. When you look up at the sky above, you see Carolina blue. It’s just the way of the world. Legends such as Air Jordan, Jerry Stackhouse, James Worthy, Sam Perkins, Rasheed Wallace, Antawn Jamison, Ed Cota, Vince Carter and many more went to the great University Of North Carolina. The keyword “legend” is a big deal.
The key match up for tonight will be Marcus Paige versus the young Tyus Jones. Paige will have to absolutely win that match up in order for UNC to compete with this overconfident Duke basketball team. If Carolina’s multiple big men throw themselves at projected 2015 no. 1 overall pick Jahlil Okafor, and Paige can dominate Tyus Jones like I think he will, victorious the Tar Heels will be.
I have the Tar Heels winning 77-73 at Cameron Indoor stadium In Durham,NC. A rivalry like this, rankings do not matter at all. Just bragging rights!
Duke talk (from Martin):
- Harass Paige – make someone else eat.
52 percent of UNC’s three-point shots are made by Marcus Paige. Carolina doesn’t have a depth of scoring. It’s really just Paige that can activate them outside of the paint. Make them have to knock down shots and make someone else eat.
Handle the digs and double teams. Go through your reads. Pick them apart.
- Defensive rebound.
UNC scores in the paint so much because they hit the glass for second chance points. Win the rebound battle and win the game.
- Take (and make) threes.
Duke hasn’t shot 40 percent or better from three and lost to UNC since 1997. Take threes because they will fall in Cameron, baby!
I’ve got Duke 70-62.