No. 3 North Carolina at No. 6 Duke Blue Devils
NCAA Betting Preview
No. 3 North Carolina Tarheels (21-2) at No. 6 Duke Blue Devils (20-3)
Wednesday, 9:00PM Eastern
Bookmaker.com betting line – North Carolina -2
Less than a 10 minute drive up Tobacco Road separates two of the biggest college basketball powerhouses of all-time and also separates the biggest rivalry in college basketball. The Duke Blue Devils and the North Carolina Tarheels own one of the most hated rivalries in all of sports and they will take to the court to do battle again this Wednesday night in Durham, N.C. Both schools rank in the Top 5 in all-time wins in NCAA Basketball and have a combined 7 National Titles among them as well. These two ACC opponents have played in games year after year with Conference and National Title hopes and it has brewed into one of the most exciting college basketball spectacles in the country. The two schools meet up again this Wednesday night in a tie for first place in the ACC in one of the most highly anticipated match-ups of the season when the Duke Blue Devils host the North Carolina Tarheels on Wednesday.
North Carolina has won 4 of the last 5 meetings against the Blue Devils and they will be the favorite to win again this Wednesday. North Carolina has really been playing well over the last few weeks winning 7 straight games. The Tarheels sport the 2nd ranked scoring offense in America average 92.3 points per game and they will try to post some high scoring totals when they take on the Blue Devils. The Tarheels are led by the play of national standout Tyler Hansbrough who is averaging 22.1 points per game. However, Wayne Ellington is averaging over 21 points in his last 6 games and is becoming a bigger threat as the season progresses. Ellington and Ty Lawson will be the two excellent guards controlling the back court for the Tarheels. Both players have the ability to take over the game and they should give the Blue Devil guards a really hard time. The Tarheels should have the talent advantage, but that does not mean much against Coach K and the Blue Devils in a big rivalry showdown.
Duke leads the ACC in scoring defense holding opponents to 61 points per game. However, over the last two weeks the Blue Devils have not been able to score themselves. Fresh off one of the lowest point totals in the last two decades where the Blue Devils were held to 47 points by Clemson, Duke again only scored 19 points in the first half against Miami. Duke did respond nicely scoring 49 points in the 2nd half and edging out the Hurricanes in overtime. However, the Blue Devils will have to be more persistent Wednesday on offense. Junior Gerald Henderson has been carrying the Duke offense over the last few weeks while Kyle Singler who has lead the team all year in scoring has been struggling. Henderson, Singler, and the rest of the Blue Devil team will all have to step up on Wednesday and play better to capture what would be an extremely big win for the Blue Devils.
What to watch for…
Pace of the game will be an important factor. Considering how Duke has been struggling on offense, I would really be surprised to see them come out and try to run up and down the court with the explosive Tarheel offense. Instead, watch for Duke to try and slow the game down while North Carolina will attack quickly. The Blue Devils will have to shoot the ball well and grab some rebounds and not let the fast pace North Carolina offense get any momentum.
Pick – North Carolina -2
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