College Basketball Preview and Free Pick: Duke vs. North Carolina
The Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC will play host to the third meeting of the season for two Top 5
programs in an ACC semifinal game tonight. The #5 Duke Blue Devils will take on the #3 North
Carolina Tar Heels. Both squads advanced after double-digit victories in quarterfinal action on
Date/Time/TV: Fri. March 15, 9:00 PM EST, ESPN
Spread: Duke Blue Devils -2.5 (-110)
Zion Williamson returned to action for the Blue Devils, and he did not disappoint. The freshman
phenom went 13 of 13 from the field for 29 points and 14 rebounds in a 12-point win over Syracuse.
For the season, Duke is 27-5 (17-15 ATS) and 14-4 in ACC play.
That left them two games behind the Tar Heels in the standings. North Carolina tied Virginia atop the
conference with an impressive 16-2 record versus the loaded ACC. Overall, the team is 27-5 (20-10-
2 ATS). They defeated Louisville by 13 points yesterday as 7-point favorites.
Duke Blue Devils
Williamson went down to injury in the first meeting of the season with North Carolina. His absence
proved costly, as the team dropped that contest and two of its final six games. Over the last 10, the
Blue Devils are 7-3 (3-6 ATS).
Team totals have been Under for three of the last four and stand at 9-21-2 for the season. RJ Barrett
is the team’s leading scorer with 23.3 ppg. Williamson is next up with 21.9 ppg and 9.0 boards, while
Cam Reddish contributes 14.0 ppg. Williamson’s 29 points and 14 boards led the way yesterday,
while Barrett chipped in with 23 points.
North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels closed out the regular season with seven straight victories, a span which included a
pair of wins over Duke.The team is 9-1 (6-4 ATS) over its last 10 games. North Carolina has been
solid versus ranked teams this season with a record of 8-3.
Totals have been Over for three of the last five and check in at 15-17 on the year. Cameron Johnson
tops the team in scoring with 16.8 ppg, while Coby White adds in 16.4 ppg and 4.2 dimes. Luke
Maye is the next biggest threat with averages of 14.8 ppg and 10.4 boards. White and Maye both
dropped 19 points in Thursday’s victory over Louisville.
Duke vs. North Carolina Prediction
The Tar Heels won the first regular season meeting by 16 points as 10-point road dogs. This was the
game in which Williamson exited to injury in the opening minutes. Next time out, North Carolina
was favored by 4.5 at home, and they covered in a 9-point victory.
North Carolina holds a 6-4 advantage for the last 10 meetings of this storied rivalry. Totals are 2-7-1
over that span. This will be the first time Duke is at full strength this season for a date with North
Carolina. We like them to win and cover to advance to the ACC finals.
Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Pick: Duke Blue Devils -2.5 (-110)