North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils
Saturday, April 2, 8:49 p.m. ET
On Saturday, we’re going to get the most historic game in college basketball history. The North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils will be playing one another for the first time in the NCAA Tournament. The committee usually tries to keep North Carolina and Duke far away from one another in the NCAA Tournament but with North Carolina and Duke reaching the Final Four, it’s happening.
This is going to be a rubber match with Duke and North Carolina each winning one game in the regular season. Most recently, North Carolina upset Duke on Senior Day and Coach K’s final home game of his career at Duke.
There will be so many emotions in this game but it’s our job to figure out which team will come out on top when it’s all said and done.
North Carolina is shooting 36.1% from deep and 50.7% from inside the arc on the year. From the foul line, the Tar Heels are shooting 76.5%. North Carolina limits turnovers to 16.5% and earns 31% offensive rebounds this season as well. That’s one area where North Carolina can dominate Duke. Duke is allowing teams to bring down close to 29% offensive rebounds and North Carolina has a couple of monsters down low including Armando Bacot who has destroyed the competition this season on the glass and around the rim.
Duke will limit fouls and continues to hold teams to 31.8% from three and 46.6% from two. However, the Blue Devils aren’t going to force a whole lot of turnovers and that will allow UNC to get shot attempts up and potentially second chances.
On the other hand, Duke is shooting 37% from deep and 56.3% from inside the arc. The Blue Devils are just as good on the offensive glass, earning 31.7% offensive rebounds, however, UNC has held teams to 21.2% offensive rebounds. Again, the Tar Heels will more than likely win the rebounding battle and limit Duke to one-and-done.
Duke is shooting at a higher rate and has been more efficient on the offensive end. However, if shots don’t fall early, North Carolina is going to be in great shape to win this game. The Tar Heels match Duke in the fact that North Carolina won’t foul very much but also won’t earn many turnovers.
Basically, this game comes down to North Carolina’s rebounding and Duke’s ability to score at such a high rate. If Duke’s missing shots early, this will be North Carolina’s game to win.
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