A classic blue blood rivalry matchup is in store this Saturday when the #9 Duke Blue Devils (18-3, 8-2 ACC) clash with the North Carolina Tar Heels (16-6, 8-3 ACC) in an Atlantic Coast Conference tilt. Duke dropped Notre Dame on the road on Monday, and the Tar Heels pulled off an overtime victory on the road against Louisville.
Saturday’s tipoff is at 6 p.m. EST inside Dean E. Smith Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Blue Devils are a 3.5-point favorite in the matchup, and the over-under total is at 151 points.
What to Know – Duke Blue Devils
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski makes his final appearance in Chapel Hill Saturday night, as the Hall of Fame coach is set to retire at the end of the season. The Blue Devils have won four in a row heading into the weekend, including two in a row on the road.
On offense, the Blue Devils average 80.4 points per game while shooting 48.3 percent from the floor and 36.2 percent from beyond the arc. Duke’s defense limits opponents to 64.7 points per game, 39.9 percent shooting from the field, and 29.5 percent from the 3-point line.
The Blue Devils relied on a suffocating defense, holding the Fighting Irish to just 14 points in the first half of Monday’s 57-43 victory over Notre Dame. Duke forced the Irish to shoot under 30 percent from the floor and 3-of-18 from deep. Freshman sensation Paolo Banchero led all scorers with 21 points.
Duke is 12-6-3 against the spread this year and 3-2 ATS on the road. The Blue Devils are just 1-7 ATS over their previous eight games against the Tar Heels.
What to Know – North Carolina Tar Heels
Head coach Hubert Davis gets his first taste of the Tabacco Road rivalry as coach of his alma mater. Davis played four seasons for the Tar Heels and nine years as an assistant under Roy Williams. Notre Dame has won their last four games and sits just a half-game back of the top spot in the conference standings.
North Carolina scores 78.6 points per game offensively, shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from the arc. The Tar Heels’ defense surrenders 72 points per game, 42.9 percent shooting from the floor, and 33.8 percent shooting from three.
In Monday’s 90-83 overtime victory over the Cardinals, all five starters for the Tar Heels reached double figures in scoring. Brady Manek led UNC with 24 points, and Armando Bacot filled up the stat sheet with 19 points and tied a season-high with 22 rebounds. North Carolina connected on almost half of its 3-point field goal attempts, hitting 12-of-26 from deep.
This season, UNC is 10-12 ATS with a 7-5 mark ATS at home. North Carolina is 4-0-1 ATS over its last five games hosting Duke.
The Pick is In
Saturday’s matchup pits two of the top teams in the conference in one of the most storied rivalries in college basketball. Don’t let UNC not being ranked fool you; this team can play. The Dean E. Smith Center will be rocking Saturday evening, and the Tar Heels pull out the victory.
Betting Pick: North Carolina Tar Heels +3.5