Previewing Duke

As if Senior Day and a game against Duke isn't important enough, the Tar Heels can also clinch the outright ACC title with a win Sunday over their arch rival. Tip-off against the Blue Devils at the Smith Center will be at 4 p.m. and nationally televised by CBS. <br><br><b> <center>(<a target=new href=>Live Stats</a> ... <a href=>In-Game Chat</a>)</b></c

North Carolina (25-3, 13-2) vs. Duke (22-4, 11-4)
Chapel Hill, N.C. - Dean E. Smith Center
Sunday, 4 p.m., CBS (Jim Nantz and Billy Packer)


First Meeting Vs. UNC: Despite 23 turnovers, despite 21% 3pt shooting, despite an ineffective outing from then-leading scorers Rashad McCants and Jawad Williams, despite the sweltering heat of Cameron Indoor and despite those raucous Cameron Crazies -- the Tar Heels had a chance to win. A late comeback came up just short as the final possesssion went awry and UNC lost, 71-70. Sean May had a game-high 23 points and 18 rebounds.

Season To Date: Considering the lack of depth and injuries this season, Duke has exceeded expectations in 2004-05. They ran through a non-conference slate that included Oklahoma and Michigan State without a loss and have put together an 11-4 conference record with their losses coming twice to Maryland, once to Wake Forest and a stunning upset at Virginia Tech. Depth is an important asset in college basketball, but it isn't essential and Duke has proven that -- taking three stars (J.J. Redick, Shelden Williams and Daniel Ewing) and filling in the rest of the spots with role players and freshmen.

Containing Redick: J.J. Redick is the conference's top scorer, leading the ACC with 22.8 points per game, while also connecting on more three-pointers and free throws than anyone in the ACC. His stats against UNC, however, have been well below par. In five games against the Tar Heels, he's shot 34.4% (20-58) from the field and 34.8% (15-43) on three-pointers.

Shelden vs. Sean: While some might make a case for Eric Williams at Wake Forest, most agree that Shelden Williams and Sean May are the two best post players in the conference. Both are averaging double-doubles and are No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in the ACC rebounding leaders. Head to head, though, May has had the advantage over the last three matchups, with 17.3 ppg and 18.0 rpg in comparison to Williams' 12.3 ppg and 8.7 rpg. Williams has the clear advantage in the shotblocking category, though, as he's averaging a league-leading 3.7 blocks per game and had five earlier this season against the Heels.

Series: This is the 219th meeting between the two schools, with Carolina holding a 123-95 advantage. Duke has won 15 of the last 17 contests, including the last four in a row.

Projected Starters:
 5 Daniel Ewing (6-3, 185, G, Sr.) – 15.3 ppg, 3.8 apg
 4 J.J. Redick (6-4, 190, G, Jr.) – 22.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg
13 Lee Melchionni (6-6, 205, F, Jr.) – 7.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg
30 Reggie Love (6-4, 225, Sr.) - 2.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg
23 Shelden Williams (6-9, 250, C, Jr.) - 15.5 ppg, 11.4 rpg

Key Reserves:
21 DeMarcus Nelson (6-3, 195, G, Fr.) – 6.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg
42 Shavlik Randolph (6-10, 240, F, Jr.) – 4.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg
14 David McClure (6-6, 205, Fr.) - 1.5 ppg, 1.2 rpg

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Ewing ... Williams

Melchionni ... Randolph

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