#9 Duke @ #21 UNC Preview

Statistically, UNC and Duke excel in the same areas. However, Duke is better in most of these areas. Both of these rank high in possessions per game. There will be a lot of shots attempted, but neither team will be out of their comfort zone. Both of these teams are poor at forcing turnovers and usually generate these extra possessions through offensive rebounding. Both teams are elite rebounding teams and rank among the top teams in the country in offensive rebounds per game.  Duke blocks more shots per game, has more assists per game, turns the ball over less, and forces more turnovers. Rivalry games are almost always close, but Duke should win if they can accomplish these 3 tasks. 

  1. Limiting second chance points: Both teams are elite offensive rebounding teams. Whichever team limits the other on the offensive glass will have a huge advantage tonight. 
  2. Take advantage of poor 3 point defense: Both teams average roughly 22 3PA per game and make them at high percentages (Duke-38.9%  UNC-37.2%). Duke's holds their opponents to 34.5% from 3, which is close to the national average for 3 point defense. UNC has one of the worst 3 point defenses in all of college basketball. Teams shoot 38.2% against UNC.
  3. Grayson Allen has to have a big game: This is a historic rivalry. UNC will be one of the toughest environments that these Duke players will ever play in at the college level. Allen has been great against UNC, averaging 21.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.4 steals per game with a  46.67%/55.26%/74% shooting split in his last 5 games against UNC. Allen needs to be able to lead the Duke freshmen by example tonight to minimize the impact of the UNC crowd.