Duke vs North Carolina Preview
SATURDAY, MARCH 5, 2022 | CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM | DURHAM, NC | 6 PM ET
Overall North Carolina leads, 141-115
In Durham, NC Duke leads, 55-50 (Duke, 46-38 at Cameron Indoor)
In Chapel Hill, NC UNC leads, 64-38 (Duke, 19-18 at Smith Center)
Last Meeting Duke, 87-67 (2/5/22 @ UNC)
Coach K vs. North Carolina 50-46
Last 10 Games (Streak) Tied, 5-5 (Duke, 1W)
Network Blue Devil Sports
PxP/Analyst David Shumate/John Roth
Network Westwood One
PxP/Analyst Kevin Kugler/P. J. Carlesimo
Duke vs North Carolina:
For the final regular-season game in head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s Hall of Fame career, his No. 4 Duke Blue Devils host North Carolina on Saturday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils are 572-75 all-time at Cameron Indoor under Coach K.
The Tar Heels come in at 22-8 on the season and 14-5 in the ACC. Currently second in the ACC the Tar Heels have won 4 in a row tying their longest of the season in ACC play. UNC leads the AACC in both rebounding and free throw shooting percentage and are second in points. Their fast style of play, in addition to their offensive rebounding prowess has them second in the league at field goal attempts.
Armando Bacot leads a group of 4 double figure scores at 16.4, Bacot also leads the team in rebounding, averaging 12.7 per game. Sophomore Caleb Love leads the Heels in assists at 3.7 per game to go with his 15.5 points. Brady Manek and RJ Davis round out the double figure scoring for the Heels at 14.2 and 13.3 respectively. That are also the teams best 3-point shooters at 39% and 40%.
Duke has already claimed the outright ACC regular season title and heads to Brooklyn as the No. 1-seed for the New York Life ACC Tournament that begins Tuesday. Duke has a bye to Thursday’s quarterfinals. The ACC regular season title is the program’s 20th (13th under Coach K).
Duke has won seven straight overall and finishes with an eight-game road winning streak — longest active by a power conference team and tied for the third longest ACC road winning streak in program history. Duke’s nine ACC road wins this season are a school record. Over the last five games, five different Blue Devils have led the team in scoring, including freshman Trevor Keels’ career-high 27 at Pitt on Tuesday.
Leading the ACC in both field goal defense (.410) and three-point defense (.299), the Blue Devils are the only power conference team leading their respective conference in each category. Duke is 27th nationally this season in defending the three-point line (.299), 55th in field goal defense (.410), 11th in blocked shots (5.5) and fifth in scoring margin (+15.3) — leads ACC in each category.
For the season, Duke has five players averaging double figures in points, led by freshman Paolo Banchero’s 16.9. Banchero has logged consecutive 21-point games and his 11 20-point efforts are second among power conference freshmen nationally. Banchero also leads the Blue Devils in rebounding pulling down 7.8 per game. Wendell Moore Jr. leads the Blue Devils in assists at 4.6 per game and is second in scoring at 13.2 per game. Trevor Keels, AJ Griffin and Mark Williams are all averaging 10 points or more per game with Griffin shooting 48.7% from beyond the arc and Keels dishing 3.1 assists per game.
Sophomore Mark Williams is the nation’s only player shooting better than .700 from the field and .700 at the free throw line (min. 100 FG attempts). His 75 dunks are the third most in a season at Duke. A finalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, Williams leads the ACC and ranks 10th nationally in blocked shots (2.9).
Duke vs North Carolina: Keys to the Game
Duke had to block out all of the noise…which maybe easier said than done. A locked in Blue Devil team isn’t one that should lose to UNC but with all of the pageantry surrounding this game as it’s Coach K’s last in Cameron, coupled with the fact that it’s Duke vs UNC is going to be a hard emotional hurdle for players and coaches alike.
Battling against the Tar Heels means battling against human nature sometimes. When you score you jog back – against UNC that means giving up a bucket. The Heels are a team that creates fast breaks based not solely on your misses but your makes. They manufacture easy buckets through taking advantage of your own habits. They are also a team that rebounds the ball amazingly well. The Blue Devils will have to own the defensive and offensive glass.
Defensively the Blue Devil guards have to Keep Caleb Love, RJ Davis and Leaky Black from getting past them. It’s a very cerebral and tricky situation – they have to not give enough space to allow for those 3’s, especially the corners. If the Blue Devils can make them into miid-range shooters Duke wins that battle. Brady Manek torched the Blue Devils in their last meeting, he’s very adept at taking and making perimeter 3’s. He also does a lot of damage around the paint. Manek does a lot of cutting along the baseline for easy dunks and getting to the offensive glass for tip ins. Paolo Banchero will likely draw the defensive assignment on Manek and will need to make sure boxing out is a huge point of emphasis for him. The Tar Heels are going to go at Duke’s interior defense early and often to try to draw fouls, Williams, Banchero and John will need to defend without fouling and be leery of giving up and-1 opportunities.
For Mark Williams picking and choosing when and where to go for blocked shots will be crucial, with UNC guards looking to penetrate and dish. UNC will push the issue and foul trouble could become a factor especially playing in Chapel Hill. Corner 3’s will also be something Duke will have to account for, I’m certain the scouting report that Duke uses will point out the favorite spots for UNC shooters – 1 being short corners and the others on the right and left sides of the top of the key.
Offensively the Blue Devils need to be better with taking care of the basketball. Neither team turns the ball over very much but both have had stretches where turnovers have been an issue.
DUKE VS NORTH CAROLINA OVERALL
DUKE VS NORTH CAROLINA CONFERENCE
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
DUKE VS NORTH CAROLINA
Duke Blue Devils
Guard Trevor Keels 6’5, 221lbs – Freshman
Guard / Forward Wendell Moore 6’5, 213lbs – Junior
Forward AJ Griffin 6’6, 222lbs – Freshman
Forward Paolo Banchero 6’10, 250lbs – Freshman
Center Mark Williams 7’1, 242lbs – Sophomore
Guard Caleb Love 6’4, 195lbs – Sophomore
Guard RJ Davis 6’0, 175lbs – Sophomore
Forward Leaky Black 6’8, 200lbs – Senior
Forward Brady Manek 6’9, 230lbs – Graduate
Forward Armando Bacot 6’10, 240lbs – Junior