One of the most storied rivalries in college sports history begins its next chapter Wednesday night as the North Carolina Tar Heels travel 12 miles north to take on Duke University at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duke's Mason Plumlee and Rasheed Sulaimon take on rival North Carolina Wednesday night.
The Tar Heels are struggling mightily this season, but do hold the all-time head-to-head matchup over Duke 132-102.
The Blue Devils have ripped five straight wins since their embarrassing loss to Miami back in January, and survived a 62-61 squeaker on the road against Boston College on Sunday.
Duke leading scorer Mason Plumlee knocked down the game-clinching free throw with 26 seconds left, and notched 19 points and 10 rebounds, making up for a Blue Devil squad that struggled shooting 40 percent from the field. Guard Seth Curry scored 18 points and made two steals, and Duke advanced to 8-2 in ACC play and the No. 2 ranking in the country.
Duke will need freshman guard Rasheed Sulaimon to rediscover his scoring touch against the Tar Heels. Sulaimon is second on the team in three-point shooting, but went 1-for-6 against the Golden Eagles.
North Carolina shared Dukes pain, with two losses to Miami this season, including last week’s 87-61 loss to the Hurricanes. The Tar Heels couldn’t survive a barrage of 15 three-points from Miami, and went just 38 percent from the field.
Sophomore forward James McAdoo shot 3-for-12 for six points, a far cry from his near 15 points per game, while guard Reggie Bullock netted 14 points and seven rebounds. Once seen as an NBA lottery pick, opponents have found McAdoo’s weakness: free throws. McAdoo is averaging 59 percent from the charity strip
North Carolina head coach Roy Williams could take some pressure off of McAdoo and give more touches to sophomore P.J. Hairston, who's scored in double digits in five of the Tar Heels last six games.
The Tar Heels fell out of the Top 25 10 games into the season when they lost to Texas on Dec. 19, and haven’t been ranked since, but an upset of Duke could propel them back onto the national stage.
The game tips-off at 9 p.m. eastern and will be broadcast by ESPN, or you can watch a live online stream by inputting your cable provider information at Watch ESPN here.
Betting Odds: Duke is favored by 11 points
Over/Under: 153 points
Prediction: North Carolina can hang with Duke offensively, and has the potential to dominate the boards. But Plumlee is too strong this season, and should have another dominate game in a Blue Devils victory.
Predicted Score: Duke 75 , North Carolina 69
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