When it comes to rivalries in sports, you won’t have to look too hard to see one of the greatest when the North Carolina Tar Heels go on the road to take on the Duke Blue Devils.
Whether these two teams are top-ranked in the country or fighting with losing records, the two games against each other on the schedule mean more than anything else all season.
Both Duke and North Carolina have had their runs of success over the last decade, but this season shows them both in the middle of the pack and both unranked.
For the first time in a long time it is truly two average teams for these blue bloods, but that makes this game all the more exciting.
With most everything about these two teams being equal, the Duke Blue Devils find themselves as the favorite on their home court over the North Carolina Tar Heels at -3.
Keeping their conference hopes alive
Looking back at November, the Tar Heels had a rough stretch where they lost four straight games including a quadruple overtime matchup against Alabama.
Since that skid, they are 10-3 and have been playing some of their best basketball of the season. Armando Bacot is the anchor of this team on both offense and defense and his monster double-doubles make Carolina a scary team.
Fresh off a loss to Pittsburgh, the Tar Heels will look to bounce back against their arch-rivals. What makes this game such a challenge, forgetting all of the history between these two programs, is that Duke has a perfect record at home.
With the upperclassmen leadership, they won’t be fazed so much by the crowd.
Building up a big-time winning streak
Conference play in college basketball is never easy and no game should ever be considered a gimme for any team.
The Blue Devils would certainly like to see a little bit more consistency in their game though. Without having won more than four straight on the year, their team really struggles to play well for big stretches.
Another tough matchup against the Miami Hurricanes is on the horizon on Monday following this Saturday night contest, so there are still more tests for them to look forward to.
Kyle Filipowski is going to have to lead this team as he has for much of the season and find ways to counteract against Armando Bacot on the other side.
Tar Heels @ Blue Devils Betting Prediction
No extra motivation is needed for this game. Both of these teams know the stakes are high when they play each other, and this rivalry is as old as time itself.
The matchup on the interior will likely be what determines the outcome of this game. A hardened veteran like Bacot going against a budding freshman like Filiposki speaks to the direction that both of these programs have taken over the last couple of years.
With most of the numbers being equal, roll with the Blue Devils on their home court at -3 over the Tar Heels.
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