North Carolina (24-9)
When: March 9 | 9:15 PM (ET)
Where: The Barclays Center - Brooklyn, NY
Watch Live: The ACC Network
Friday Duke and North Carolina fans get the matchup they've been wanting - Duke vs UNC Pt3. The rubber match will take place Friday at 9:15 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for a chance to face the winner of the UVA vs Clemson matchup in the ACC Tournament finals. Both teams come in off of double digit wins in their quarterfinal matchups with North Carolina dispatching of the Miami Hurricanes and Duke taking care of business against Notre Dame.
Game one against the Tar Heel saw Duke struggle to contain UNC's best 3 point shooters in Kenny Williams and Cameron Johnson, each player shot 50% from beyond the arc scoring a combined 38 points. Duke also struggled to turn the Tar Heels over as UNC played an excellent floor game only turning the ball over 2 times in 40 minutes of play. Duke could not find consistent offense - Roy Williams Tar Heels defended Duke beautifully limiting freshman Marvin Bagley III to 15 points and senior Grayson Allen to under double figures at 9. The smaller Heels also out-rebounded the Blue 44 to 38. They scored 12 second chance points and 11 points off of Duke turnovers.
The second game, with Duke fully committed to the 2-3 zone Duke was able to limit UNC's effectiveness from behind the arc. The Tar Heels shot 25.8% from 3 and 37% overall in the second matchup. Duke's zone seem to bother UNC and Duke also rebounded much better out of that zone in game 2 to a 46 to 42 edge. Duke was also able to turn the Tar Heels over, UNC committed 14 turnovers as opposed to the 2 they committed in game 1 in Chapel Hill. Duke had a 15 to 10 edge in points off of turnovers but where Duke was able to capitalize was in fast break points, holding a 14 to 6 edge.
Keys to the Game
Limiting turnovers: When UNC has a significant advantage in turnovers they generally convert those turnovers into points.
Rebounding: Duke has to limit UNC on the boards, UNC generally makes a living on second chance points.
Reserves: This being the second game in 2 days Duke will need to utilize the bench to get rest for Marvin Bagley and Grayson Allen. Both played 19 huge minutes against Notre Dame. Marques Bolden played huge minutes for Duke against Notre Dame. Bolden scored 8 points and pulled down 7 rebounds as Wendell Carter sat with foul trouble.
Wendell Carter Jr.: Wendell is nursing a foot injury that kept him out of practice the entire week and the freshman had a subpar showing against Notre Dame. Carter was in foul trouble from the very beginning and seemed to not have his normal lift. His status for the UNC game is unclear at the moment but if Duke can find a way to get him healthy and on the floor he can be a huge advantage.
Good Zone vs Bad Zone: Duke will need to be active in the zone and adjust as they did against Notre Dame protecting the middle of that zone became necessary once Notre Dame seemed to figure things out. This may come into play against UNC. Duke will also need to be active on the perimeter and account for the corner 3's against UNC.
Projected Starting Lineups:
F Marvin Bagley III
F Wendell Carter Jr.
G Gary Trent Jr.
G Grayson Allen
G Trevon Duval
F Luke Maye
F Theo Pinson
G Kenny Williams
G Cam Johnson
G Joel Berry