Preview: Duke at UNC
We always attempt to write a Duke wrap-up, but it never truly works. UNC fans always know as much about the enemy as we do ourselves. No matter how much it tries to be shoved down our throats, we will never be fooled into thinking Ryan Kelly, Tweedle-Miles or Tweedle-Mason are serviceable big men. Yeah, they have some guards that can score points. Yeah, these games are always close, even in years that one program is on a downward spin. It is UNC-Duke. The greatest rivalry in sports. What more can be said?
How about an straight-forward look at some numbers first.
UNC ranks 1st in the nation in scoring (84.1) while Duke sits at 11th (79.8).
UNC ranks 1st in the nation in rebounding (46.3) while Duke sits at 104th (36.0).
UNC ranks 4th in the nation in assists (18.2) while Duke sits at 131st (13.3).
Duke ranks 21st in in the nation in field goal shooting (.482) while UNC sits at 48th (.470).
What this says. UNC does in fact have better big men. UNC knows how to pass the ball (like, to big men). UNC’s one major stat that Duke outranks it in is a negligible amount (1 percent) that doesn’t matter considering UNC still scores almost five more points per contest and pulls down ten more rebounds.
UNC’s two highest scorers (Barnes and Zeller) outscore Duke’s highest scorers (Rivers and Curry) and its highest rebounders (Henson and Zeller) also outrebound Duke’s (the Plumlees).
Also, where the hell is Ryan Kelly in all this?
Like any UNC-Duke game, this one should be one for the ages. A battle of top ten opponents will live up to the hype yet conclude with a mass of UNC students rushing to Franklin Street to set shit on fire. It happens. We’re used to it. But it never gets old.
Prediction: UNC 82, Duke 76