Wednesday's UNC Links

Today's Carolina links from around the 'net ......

Carolina Basketball

Sometimes this season North Carolina has exasperated coach Roy Williams with its indifferent play, and Duke has not responded to repeated prodding by coach Mike Krzyzewski. But none of those problems, or any others, will hold back either team today when they square off at the Smith Center at 9 p.m. It will be the first of two regular-season games this winter in their long, heated rivalry.
Duke, North Carolina won't be held back tonight
The Winston Salem Journal

North Carolina sophomore Harrison Barnes missed a simple layup at practice Monday, proof to Coach Roy Williams that his star player still was limited by a sprained left ankle. Barnes said on Tuesday he was somewhere between 60 to 80 percent, and Williams said that there's no way his leading scorer will be 100 percent by tonight.
Barnes expects adrenaline to kick in
The Durham Herald-Sun

Tonight, though, Duke's interior players face their toughest test of the season at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill against No. 5 North Carolina.
UNC's front line presents challenge for Duke
The Durham Herald-Sun

For all the discussion about Duke's recent malaise, there's North Carolina on the other side of this showdown seeking to reclaim its share of validation as well. Strange talk given the subjects are two Top 10 teams. But when these teams get together, every detail is scrutinized. The Tar Heels ride a five-game winning streak into tonight's game, trying to put the lopsided loss to Florida State in the rear-view mirror.
Tar Heels must deal with Duke's possible changes
The Burlington Times-News

In the buildup to another highly anticipated matchup between North Carolina and Duke, neither coach has been in a festive mood. Roy Williams spoke softly and sounded fatigued, worn down by the effects of a stomach bug. Duke's inconsistent and sometimes uninspired play fuels Mike Krzyzewski's frustration. It's worth a reminder that both teams are ranked in the top 10, but there is a bizarre feel to tonight's meeting of Tobacco Road bluebloods.
Duke-North Carolina rivalry game has different feel this year
The Fayetteville Observer

Kendall Marshall has made himself fifth-ranked North Carolina's most irreplaceable player.The sophomore point guard is second nationally in assists, averaging 9.8 per game. He's been the perfect floor leader for coach Roy Williams' fast-paced attack with his see-everything court vision and precise passing that make the Tar Heels hum in transition. He'll need to be on his game for the Tar Heels heading into tonight's rivalry game with No. 10 Duke (19-4, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).
It all starts with Marshall for Tar Heels
The Asheville Citizen-Times

North Carolina sophomore forward Harrison Barnes told the audience listening to coach Roy Williams' weekly radio show Monday night that his ankle felt "great" and he'd "be ready to go against Duke." On Tuesday, though, Barnes took a less definitive stance when discussing his status for the No. 5 Tar Heels' game against the No. 10 Blue Devils.
Barnes' ankle not so 'great' after all
The Charlotte Observer

People who watch Kendall Marshall play basketball talk a lot about his vision, and how good it is, but in reality it has become worse over the years. Marshall, the sophomore point guard at North Carolina, scratched his left eye when he was a baby, scratched it so badly it bled.
Tar Heels' Marshall a sight for sore eyes
The Charlotte Observer

A few years ago, I ran into an exasperated writer from a national magazine who'd been dispatched to Tobacco Road to find a fresh story about the Duke-North Carolina game. He exhaled melodramatically and asked me; What hasn't already been written about the greatest rivalry in college basketball for the last 30 years?
Duke-UNC: A gift of a rivalry
The Charlotte Observer

There are immense sports rivalries, just like great wars, that extend across state lines, regions and sometimes even countries. And then there are civil wars — brother against brother, friend against friend. Today's matchup between No. 10 Duke and No. 5 North Carolina marks the 233rd battle in perhaps the greatest civil war in sports.
UNC players are ready for 233rd incarnation of Duke rivalry game
The Daily Tar Heel

Wednesday night at the Smith Center, North Carolina and Duke will renew a rivalry so intense and so close that only a single point separates them over their last 75 meetings.
With or without a big buildup, UNC-Duke rarely disappoints
The Wilmington Star-News

Tonight is like a holiday in this state, an event removed from all the other events of February, a celebration of basketball with nothing riding on it but the game itself. Duke vs. North Carolina. The first game. It has its own history, a series of games dating back even before the 1961 brawl that changed everything in this rivalry and how the game would be played in a state that eventually changed how the game was played everywhere else.
The first game is always special for ACC fans
The Greensboro News-Record

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