Duke Blue Devils vs North Carolina Tar Heels prediction and college basketball game preview.
Duke vs North Carolina Broadcast
Date: Saturday, March 6
Game Time: 6:00 ET
Venue: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
Duke (11-10) vs North Carolina (15-9) Game Preview
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Why Duke Will Win
Duke’s playing better than North Carolina.
There might have been two losses in a row, but they were both in overtime after going on a roll with four straight victories including a great win over Virginia.
The defense hasn’t been great, but the scoring punch is there, the team has hit 48% or more of its shots in eight of the last ten games, and at least lately, teams aren’t as hot from three against that D.
North Carolina can’t make threes, and that means it has to own the offensive glass, but the Blue Devils can rebound just enough to keep up.
Why North Carolina Will Win
North Carolina won 91-87 back in early February even though Duke hit just about everything inside and out. It was one of the few games the Tar Heels were on from three – nailing a season-high 67% – but it won by doing a bit more on the boards including on the offensive side.
No, UNC isn’t playing quite as well lately as Duke is, but if the defense can just be okay and the O can get past 70, it’s fine.
The Tar Heels are 8-1 in 2021 when scoring over 70 – only losing to Florida State – and losing its last four when it doesn’t. Duke’s defense isn’t consistent enough to keep North Carolina from scoring if it gets hot from the start.
The Blue Devils don’t force a whole lot to mistakes and they’re just okay on the defensive boards, but again, the issue might be from three. And again, North Carolina usually is awful from behind the arc, and usually, Duke has a hard time defending teams from out there.
At least, it did the first time around in this.
What’s Going To Happen
It’s going to come down to the ACC Tournament and whether or not these two teams can get hot enough and play well enough to somehow, some way, get into the big tournament – and it’ll probably take winning the ACC Championship.
However, if North Carolina can run Duke out of the gym, it’ll at least create a buzz – and vice versa. That’s not going to happen, and neither of these teams are going anywhere – most likely – but it’ll be a whale of a spirited game to close out the regular season with the Tar Heels getting by thanks to a few extra key rebounds and their ability on the free throw line.
Duke vs North Carolina Prediction, Line
North Carolina 78, Duke 74
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Line: North Carolina -3, o/u: 148
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 4
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