Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Dissecting the UNC-Duke Rivalry

Thomas Muzekari
Staff Writer

The North Carolina and Duke rivalry is arguably the best rivalry in basketball. The two schools are just ten miles down what is known as Tobacco Road from each other. Both the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils obviously have great history, both being among the top five winningest programs in men’s college basketball history, and the two schools have had many exciting games against each other. Every time they play, the anticipation is immense, because of the great players, great coaches, and the overall historic significance of the programs and the rivalry itself.
 Roy Williams’ Tar Heels are 25-5 overall and have a 13-3 record and the lead in the ACC standings. The scoring for Carolina is led by Justin Jackson, who averages 18.8 points a game and Joel Berry II, who averages 14.8 points a game. Inside, Carolina is stout with their size, athleticism, and rebounding, led by Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks.
 Meanwhile, Coach Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils are 22-7 overall and tied for fifth place in the league with a 10-6 record in ACC play. Duke is led by guards Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen, as well as Jayson Tatum. Kennard leads the team in points per game with 19.9, Allen averages 15.0, and Tatum 16.1.

 Duke and UNC already met once this year back on Feb. 9 at Cameron Indoor Stadium when the Blue Devils won 86-78 in front of their home fans. The two schools will meet again for their last game of the regular season on Mar. 4 at UNC. These games are always intense. Right now, Carolina currently holds a two game lead over the next spot in the standings, and Duke can’t catch them with just two games left. However, the rivalry game could alter seeding for the ACC tournament and could be significant leading up to Selection Sunday on Mar. 12.

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