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UNC Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils Predictions The historic matchup will see the UNC Tar Heels take on the Duke Blue Devils. It is the first meeting between these teams in March Madness. Coach K is retiring as Duke’s head coach. UNC and Duke last faced each other in Coach K’s last home in Cameron Indoor Stadium, and the Tar Heels stunned Duke 94-81. Duke seeks revenge for that defeat.
The UNC Tar Heels have been a surprise team this March, despite being counted out most of the season. They entered March Madness as an 8-seed, but they dismantled the Marquette Golden Eagles 95-63 in the First Round.
The Tar Heels followed up their First Round victory with a tough 93-86 overtime win against the Baylor Bears. UNC was forced to face the UCLA Bruins. It didn’t get any easier. It was a difficult battle, but UNC scored 45 second-half points and won 73-66. UNC faced the rising Saint Peter’s Peacocks in an exciting Elite Eight matchup. Saint Peter’s was a 15-seed and on a cinderella run. However, that did not phase UNC and they routed them 69-49. Armando Bacot and Brady Manek combined for 39 points and 30 rebounds in that game.
UNC has an excellent offense with four players scoring 13 points or more a game. To outdo the electric Duke offense, they will have to rely on their offense.
The Duke Blue Devils suffered some late-season defeats, but were mentally strong this March and won some tough games.
Duke met the Arkansas Razorbacks at the Elite Eight. They had an insane first half and led 45-33 going into the second half. They tried to fight back but were defeated by the Razorbacks. The Blue Devils won 78-69 behind A.J. Griffin’s 18 points.
This is Coach K’s final season. Duke wants to exact revenge on UNC so I am going with Duke. It should be the most thrilling game of the season, and there will be plenty of tension.
Duke beats UNC 75-72. UNC covers, Under 151 points.
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Head-to-Head: UNC Tar Heels vs Duke Blue Devils
UNC Tar Heels Head-to-Head Duke Blue Devils Hubert Davis Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski 28-9 (15-5, 2nd in ACC) Standing 32-6 (16-4, 1st in ACC) Leader (Per Game) Armando Bacot (16.5) PPG Paolo Banchero (17.1) Armando Bacot (12.8) RPG Paolo Banchero (7.7) RJ Davis (3.7) APG Wendell Moore Jr. (4.4) Caleb Love (1.1) SPG Wendell Moore Jr. (1.4) Armando Bacot (1.7) BPG Mark Williams (2.9) Armando Bacot (. 586) FG% Mark Williams (. 719) Brady Manek (. 398) 3P% AJ Griffin (. 458)
Why Might the UNC Tar Heels Win?
The UNC Tar Heels are considered the underdogs. They beat the Duke team this year, and they can win again this year if they make turnovers and win rebounding.
UNC is facing a Duke squad that scored over 80 points a game. The Tar Heels must defend the Blue Devils and take the ball from them. They will reduce Duke’s scoring opportunities by creating turnovers.
UNC are both excellent rebounding teams. They both average a little under 40 rebounds per game. UNC must be more aggressive in pursuing rebounds this year.
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Why Might the Duke Blue Devils Win?
The Duke Blue Devils are favorites, but they face a strong UNC team. To win, they must make free throws and guard the rim. Duke is an averagely effective free-throw shooting line. They hit 72.9% of their free throw attempts and go to the line over 15 times a game. They need to hit 80% of their free throws this game. They will score a lot of points if they can do so.
UNC boasts some big men, including Brady Manek and Armando Bacot. They combine for 31.7 points per game and most of those points come near the hoop. Bacot and Manek must be stopped by the Duke big men. They will severely limit UNC’s scoring if they do.
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Tar Heels Key Player: (F) Armando Bacot
Forward Armando Bacot is a very impressive player. The 6’10” junior averages 16.5 points and 12.8 rebounds per game. His rebounding has become even more impressive in March, and he is coming off a 22-rebound game against St. Peters.
Bacot can also be used as a rim protector. His average block rate is 1.7 per game, which makes it difficult for big players.
Bacot must continue to score and rebound at the hoop. UNC’s “x-factor” and he needs to play a big game.
Blue Devils Key Player: (F) A.J. Griffin
Forward A.J. Griffin is coming off an 18-point game against Arkansas. He only played 26 minutes but went 7-9 overall and 2-3 from deep.
This Duke team has many stars but Griffin could be the one to watch. Griffin has already shown that he is capable of having big games. He needs another against UNC.
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How to Watch UNC Tar Heels vs Duke Blue Devils
UNC Tar Heels vs Duke Blue Devils Information What UNC Tar Heels vs Duke Blue Devils Where Ceasers Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana When Saturday, April 2, 8: 49 PM EST How to Watch TBS