Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

The North Carolina Tar Heels are 1-point favorites over their archrivals the Duke Blue Devils.  The over/under for the game is sets at 143. The two will lock horns Saturday night in one of the biggest and most meaningful games of the entire season. The winner will be the outright regular season champion of the ACC conference and the top seed in next week’s ACC Tournament.

Duke has a chance at being the #1 seed in the March Madness tournament riding on this game as well.  They know that winning the ACC would probably get the job done once and for all without any doubts. The Blue Devils have heard all sorts of speculation about Kyrie Irving and his potential availability any time in the near future. It’s clear that he won’t be back for this contest against North Carolina. Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler have been there and done that, and they are both chock full of Final Four experience from last year’s National Championship team. The two are averaging a combined 38.7 points per game this season, which is almost half of what the team is accounting for on a regular basis.

North Carolina seems to have only gotten stronger and stronger as the season has worn on. They haven’t lost a game outside of the February 9th meeting against Duke since January 16th.  They are on a 9-3 record against the spread as well.  Since the end of January, Harrison Barnes has been averaging 17.9 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game. Joined with Tyler Zeller and John Henson, the Tar Heels have one of the best frontcourts in the country.  The three are averaging a total of 39.8 points per game and 22.4 rebounds per game.

Duke has won the last three games in the series and the underdogs have a 14-6 record against the spread in the last twenty meetings between these two schools.  I am going to take Duke to continue both of those trends.  North Carolina has certainly played well the last two months but I don’t feel they have enough depth to beat the Duke Blue Devils in this game tonight.  Duke will win the ACC tonight and be one of the favorites to win the March Madness tournament.

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