First place in the Atlantic Coast Conference will be up for grabs on Wednesday night when the Duke Blue Devils host the North Carolina Tar Heels. North Carolina won two of the three games against their rival a season ago, and Duke hasn’t forgotten about that. This should be an extremely fast-paced game with plenty of future NBA stars taking the floor.
Duke currently sits in first place in the ACC with an 11-1 record. The Blue Devils stumbled against Syracuse earlier this season, but have beaten everyone else, including two huge wins over Virginia. North Carolina is right on Duke’s heels with a 10-2 record in conference play, and are 20-5 overall. Duke is a 9.0 point favorite over North Carolina in this game.
North Carolina Can Score Some Points
North Carolina has kind of flown under the radar so far this season, but their offense simply can’t be overlooked. The Tar Heels are averaging 87.5 points per game this season and hung 95 on Wake Forest in their last outing. North Carolina will push the ball in transition against Duke, and they won’t be afraid to take some early and deep shots. The Tar Heels are shooting close to 39 percent as a team from the three-point line and will need to be hot in this game.
Senior guard Cameron Johnson is a big reason for the offensive explosion of the Tar Heels this season. Johnson leads the team with 16.3 points per game and is shooting 48 percent from deep. Look for freshman guard Coby White to play with a chip on his shoulder in this game as well. White is averaging 15.7 points per game, and will no doubt be trying to prove himself against the Duke freshmen stars.
Barrett, Williamson Refuse to Lose
The dynamic duo of RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson do a little bit of everything for Duke this season, and they won’t let the team down. Barrett recorded a triple-double over the weekend against N.C. State and is averaging a team-high 22.7 points per game. Williamson is scoring 22.4 points per game, while also leading the team in rebounds and energy plays. The projected top two picks in the NBA Draft are nearly impossible to stop.
An underrated part of this Duke team has been the incredible play of their defense. The Blue Devils are giving up just 66.1 points per game this season, and are averaging more than 10 steals and seven blocks per game. Freshman guard Tre Jones is the catalyst on defense for Duke, and he will be tasked with slowing down Coby White in this game.
Duke Rolls Over UNC
North Carolina is going to try to run and keep up with Duke in this game, and that is a big mistake. The Tar Heels have the talent to keep it close for a while, but Duke is just simply too overwhelming. North Carolina is also relying on some key freshmen, but they aren’t as good as Duke’s stars. Bet the Duke Blue Devils -9.0 over North Carolina on Wednesday night.