Previewing Duke

The Tar Heels have won two in a row, albeit against slumping ACC foes, yet to continue the win streak UNC must prevail Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium, where Duke hasn't lost a game this year. Tip-off in Durham is set for 9 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN.

North Carolina (16-14, 5-10) vs. Duke (25-5, 12-3)
Durham, N.C. -- Cameron Indoor Stadium
9:00 p.m. ESPN (Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale, Erin Andrews)


"It is good to finally be able to show what we can do. I know that we have been called 'one-dimensional' with our guards, in terms of the big three that always score a lot. [I want to do] anything I can to help them out." – Duke center Brian Zoubek on team's post players recent play

"Duke's fans are just right on top of you and they're loud and annoying with their little hand things. They're definitely one of the best crowds in the ACC." -- UNC forward Deon Thompson on the Cameron Crazies


Since the Last Time We Met… Duke enters Saturday night's contest with a 25-5 (12-3 ACC) record. The Blue Devils had won five straight games since beating North Carolina on Feb. 10 before falling to Maryland, 79-72, on Wednesday in College Park. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski's squad can clinch the top seed in next week's ACC Tournament by winning its first home game against UNC in five years.

Making a Case for ACC POY: While Maryland's Greivis Vasquez likely secured the league's Player of the Year award on Wednesday night, Duke's Jon Scheyer is also a worthy candidate. The senior leads the ACC in three statistical categories and is the only player in the league to rank in the top 5 in seven statistical categories: scoring (third, 18.8 ppg), assists (fourth, 5.2 apg), free throw percentage (first, .883), three-point field goals (first, 2.9 3pg), three-point field goal percentage (second, .404), assist-to-turnover ratio (first, 2.9:1) and minutes (second, 36.5 mpg).The senior point guard also leads the ACC and ranks 18th nationally at 88.3 percent (143-of-162) from the free throw line in the latest standings.

A Devilish Trio: If you're looking for a team to sponsor in a 3-on-3 league, then Krzyzewski likely holds the possible choice in his back pocket. Scheyer and juniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith combine to average 53.3 points per game, which represents 67.4 percent of Duke's scoring. Scheyer is third in the ACC in scoring at 18.8 ppg., while Smith (17.5 ppg.) and Singler (17.0 ppg.) rank fourth and sixth, respectively. The trio is the second-highest scoring threesome in the NCAA and the fourth-highest under Krzyzewski. Texas Southern, California, Siena and UC-Davis are the only other schools with three players ranked among the top-10 scorers in their respective leagues.

Letting the Zoubs Out: Brian Zoubek is averaging 7.2 points and 11.0 rebounds (5.0 OR) since entering the starting lineup six games ago. He is second in the ACC in offensive rebounds per game (3.4) and ranks 11th in total rebounds (7.1 rpg). With six offensive rebounds against Maryland, Zoubek became just the ninth player in Duke history to pull down 100 offensive rebounds in a season.

Defending the 3-Ball: In the most recent NCAA statistical rankings, the Blue Devils lead the nation in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 27.3 percent (114-of-418).Duke has held its opposition to 22.5 percent (27-of-120) shooting from behind the arc over its past nine games.

Thanks for the Charity: Duke also ranks eighth in the NCAA in free throw percentage at 75.6 percent (517-of-684).

Stat to Watch: The Blue Devils rank second in turnover margin (plus-3.13) in ACC play, while North Carolina owns the cellar spot with a minus-2.93 ratio.

Last Meeting: Duke defeated North Carolina, 64-54, on Feb. 10, 2010, at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill. The Blue Devils grabbed 23 offensive rebounds and knocked down 50 percent of their 3-pointers (9-of-18) to offset a 31.0 percent shooting display. The Tar Heels only managed to connect on 34.5 percent of their field goal attempts. Will Graves led UNC with 13 points and eight rebounds, while John Henson added six points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.

Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series with Duke, 130-98. UNC has beaten the Blue Devils in seven of the last 10 meetings, including four straight at Cameron Indoor.

Projected Starters:
30 Jon Scheyer (6-5, 190, Sr.) – 18.8 ppg, 5.2 apg
2 Nolan Smith (6-2, 185, Jr.) – 17.5 ppg, 2.9 apg
12 Kyle Singler (6-8, 230, Jr.) – 17.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg
42 Lance Thomas (6-8, 225, Sr.) – 5.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg
55 Brian Zoubek (7-1, 260, Sr.) – 5.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg

Top Reserves:
21 Miles Plumlee (6-10, 240, So.) – 5.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg
20 Andre Dawkins (6-4, 190, Fr.) – 5.4 ppg
5 Mason Plumlee (6-10, 230, Fr.) – 4.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg

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