Looking at this matchup a few weeks ago when Duke was on course for a bad season, it looked like an easy W for the UNC Tar Heels but that is not case now. Duke is making a late surge and looking more like the Duke of old.
Grayson Allen and the Blue Devils are riding high after his thrilling and controversial buzzer-beater over a highly ranked Virginia team in front of the Cameron Crazies, but they will not have them tonight when they visit arch rival North Carolina at 9PM EST. Their Virginia win extends their win streak to four. During that streak, Duke beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta. They also beat rival NC State in front of the home crowd, and ranked Louisville and ranked Virginia in Durham.
Grayson Allen has started to play better and improve over these four games. He is averaging a little over 22 points a game and the offense is running more through him. And along with Allen is freshman, Brandon Ingram, who has scored in double figures in the last four games and has two double-doubles in that span. On a very short bench, Luke Kennard has started to shine and give key production to the Blue Devils in the last three games, including a 26-point game against NC State.
But how will that young core stack up against a veteran Tar Heel team?
The Tar Heels team come to this game with a 2-2 record in their last four games. They lost two straight against Louisville and Notre Dame both away from the Dean E. Smith Center. They were also against the ropes against Boston College, but the team rallied and won after Coach Roy Williams collapsed on the court after a vertigo attack. Then after those three road games they returned to Chapel Hill to play host to the Pittsburgh Panthers and they won to the tune of 85-64.
This North Carolina team is lead by a pair of seniors, G Marcus Paige and F Brice Johnson.
In this four game stretch, Johnson has scored in double figures three times and also has recorded two double-doubles. Guard Marcus Paige has also only had one game without double figures in the point column. And has been a sniper from behind the arc, shooting little over 46 percent in the last four games and in the last three it is at 55 percent. In four games he has only shot under .500 once.
The game in the Chapel Hill will be one for the books. The All-Time record is 133-107 in favor of the Tar Heels, but the Heels are looking for revenge because Duke has the latest win in the series.
Will UNC make it number 134 or will Duke make it number 108?