Time: 9 p.m.
The ACC is center stage once again Wednesday night on Tobacco Road to determine who takes round one at Chapel Hill of this heralded rivalry. Both teams are playing their best basketball of the season at the right time, not only for the upcoming March Madness, but also for the greatest rivalry in college basketball. These are the storylines you should keep an eye out for tonight!
#20 Duke Keys to Success:
Duke is currently on a four game win streak in the ACC coming into Wednesday night’s matchup at Chapel Hill. While the Blue Devils struggled early in the season, as of late we have seen a team that is utilizing Grayson Allen and Brandon Ingram skill sets to create shots for others, but also create opportunities for the stars to get easy buckets. It will be very important for Duke to get out on the break for easy baskets on the road and win the defensive rebounding battle if they want a chance to win this edition of the rivalry. Everyone is queuing in on Ingram and Allen, so a player to keep an eye on that could be the “Carolina killer” in matchup one is Luke Kennard.
#5 UNC Keys to Success:
It has been a while since North Carolina was the team ranked higher coming into tonight’s rivalry, but that is exactly where they sit for the first time since 2012. UNC, the favorite in this one, will need to keep their defensive intensity up, which will be important to running Duke off the three point line. That will be vital, but expect the main thing UNC will need to do in front of their fans is offensive rebounding. This will be the last time Marcus Paige will play in Chapel Hill against Duke, expect him to have a big game and be the leader he has been all throughout his career. Also expected to be his partner in the blue bloods rivalry tonight is Brice Johnson, who will also have the responsibility of shutting down Duke star Brandon Ingram. A player to watch for that could be the difference in this one is Justin Jackson, who will look to continue to put a stamp on his NBA Draft status.
An instant classic is already in the making, as this matchup never disappoints. We have all that is necessary for a Carolina Duke matchup! We have Coach K vs. Roy Williams, College stars in the making and ESPN in Primetime. The fans have already been loud and clear on social media, but we know that students, faculty and alumni will make sure they are loud and clear tomorrow night in attendance in Chapel Hill, North Carolina! #BeatDuke #BeatUNC