#5 Duke vs. North Carolina

The best college basketball game of Thursday night is the #5 ranked Duke Blue Devils facing their in-state rival the North Carolina Tar heels. This game was supposed to be played on February 12th but was postponed until today because of bad weather.

 

Duke @ North Carolina Preview

duke vs north carolinaThe 21-5 Blue Devils are coming off a 68-51 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The 18-7 Tar Heels are coming off a 81-75 win over the Florida State Seminoles.

The Blue Devils are lead by sophomore Rodney Hood and freshman Jabari Parker. Hood is averaging 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds ND 2.1 assists per game. Parker is averaging 19.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1 steal and 1.2 blocks per game.

The Tar Heel are lead by junior James Michael McAdoo and sophomore Marcus Paige. McAdoo is averaging 15 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1 block per game. Paige is averaging 17 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

 

Game Time: 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN

 

Key Injuries

For Duke:

Nobody currently injured.

For North Carolina:

P.J. Hairston out (suspension).

 

How Duke Wins

Duke needs to do what they do best and score. They are ranked 13th in the nation in scoring as they average 82.2 points per game. The Blue Devils will also need to win the rebound battle if they want a better chance at winning the game. They are ranked 156th in the nation in rebounding as they average only 35.1 per game. The final thing Duke needs to do is take care of the ball which they do very well. They only turn the ball over an average of 9.5 times per game which ranks 6th in the nation.

 

How North Carolina Wins

North Carolina will win the game if they keep crashing the boards and getting the rebounds. They rank 8th in the nation in rebounding as they average 41.2 per game. The Tar Heels will also need to play better defense and contain the high scoring Blue Devil offense. The Tar Heels rank 94th in the country in opponent scoring as they give up 67.5 points per game. The final thing they will need to do is make their free throws. North Carolina shoots an average of 27.3 per game but they only make an average of 17 per game.

 

My Prediction

Duke is going to try to make this a high scoring game for a better chance at winning. North Carolina is going to try to outrebound and get Duke in foul trouble for a better chance at winning the game. Whichever team accomplishes their goal will have the best shot in winning the game.

I think that Duke will go to North Carolina and out play the Tar Heels. I think that Duke will score a lot of points and win the rebound battle. The Tar Heels will try to come back but Duke’s offense is just to good and the Blue Devils win the game.

Final Score

Duke: 86
North Carolina: 78

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