Tobacco Road Rivalry Round 2: #3 Duke Vs. UNC
- CoachingDuke’s win on Senior Night on Tuesday against Virginia Tech was Mike Krzyzewski’s 880th at Duke, moving him into second place for most all time for a coach at a single school.Carolina earned a nice road win at Maryland on Wednesday; they've now won six in a row heading into the rematch with their arch-rival. The Heels would tie Duke for second in the ACC with a win.
- OffenseRyan Kelly is back, and so Duke’s offense looks even better. After an unbelievable performance against Miami in his return, the senior forward scored 18 against Virginia Tech.Carolina grabbed 18 offensive boards in the first meeting with Duke, which helped them keep pace despite subpar shooting. Reggie Bullock has been on fire lately.
- DefenseDuke’s defense has been better this season with Kelly as well. They showed some adjustments in the rematch with Miami and were solid, especially in the second half, on Tuesday.The Heels have been playing better defensively of late. They lead the league in forced turnovers in conference play, and rarely foul.
- Bench DepthAmile Jefferson has gotten very little playing time since Kelly’s return, so Duke is basically seven deep. This team relies on its starters to play significant minutes.Leslie McDonald is a decent reserve, but no other Tar Heel has seen significant minutes in recent games. The bench provided nothing in the first match-up.
Duke won the first matchup, 73-68 on Feb. 13. The game was close throughout; this one could go either way. Duke has the categorical edge but expect an inspired effort from UNC at home. -Andrew Kahn, College Basketball Contributor