This rivalry is one of the best rivalries in sports, dating all the way back to the 1950s. Through the years there have been many phenomenal games between these two teams (most of which were won by the Tar Heels). I’m sure tonight will not fail to live up to the hype. Duke is coming in at number 5 in the AP polls and UNC is coming in at 21. Duke has won 35 straight games at home, and Carolina has gone 10-1 over the past 11 games and is on a 5 games winning streak. One of those streaks is going to have to end, and I have a feeling that the 35 game home streak is going to be put to bed tonight.
Next I’d like to highlight some of the key people in tonight’s game. For Carolina it is going to be very important that Tyler Zeller steps up and holds his own in the paint. This season UNC is 2nd in the nation in rebounding and if they can keep that up tonight, Duke will have a hard time. The next player that really needs to step up is going to be Kendall Marshall. He is taking the spot of Larry Drew at starting point guard, who recently left the team for reasons unbeknownst to me (he’s a douche bag). He is a true freshman and has shown a lot of promise throughout the season as he is getting more experienced. Finally on the Carolina side, will be Roy Williams. Roy needs to come up with a good game plan to contain the Duke shooters and make sure that the players execute it.
On the Duke side, Kyle Singler will most likely have a big time game tonight. But if he cannot get it going then the Dookies will suffer. As much as I hate the guy, he is probably one of the best players in college basketball. Granted, he will most likely follow in the footsteps of other Duke stars and ride the pines in the NBA. Nolan Smith is also going to be a big time threat against the Heels tonight. It’s funny; Smith is pretty much the stereotypical Carolina player, really athletic and quick. He can handle and distribute the ball well and is a senior with a lot of game experience. Finally on the Duke side, just like on the UNC side, Coach K will have to figure out a way to stop the young UNC team.
For my prediction, I am of course going to pick UNC for the win, and I'm calling a score of 75-72.
Now for some images that make me chuckle.
|Is it just me or does Coach K resemble a rat?|
|Kyle Singler this morning|
|Coach K consoling JJ Reddick after a tough defeat (How sweet!)|