The Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels have formed the best rivalry in college basketball
. They will renew that rivalry this Wednesday night in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Why Duke Will Win
When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, it’s necessary to point out that the calculus of this contest has changed in the past 48 hours. Duke was expected to play this game with a 7-1 ACC record, but then a funny thing happened on Sunday afternoon at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina: Duke lost on its home court, and not just to anyone, but to the middling and decidedly average Miami Hurricanes. Duke missed six straight free throws in overtime, an absolutely mind-boggling reality that has to be hard for the Blue Devils and their fans to accept. Duke just doesn’t lose at home, but it has now lost two of its last three home games. Duke just doesn’t miss six foul shots in a row, especially not in one of the rare overtime periods the Blue Devils play, but coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team has now managed to humiliate itself at the foul line.
Duke could be downgraded as a result of this result, but one would be entirely logical to conclude that the Blue Devils will be steaming mad in this game and play with even more fury, fire and focus. Coach K will likely light into his team before tip-off and produce the best, most inspired performance the Blue Devil roster is capable of. If Duke had beaten Miami, it wouldn’t have an angry, nasty edge heading into this game. The Miami loss is not what Duke wanted, but it could play in the Blue Devils’ favor for this game, this week, at this particular point in time.
Why North Carolina Will Win
The college basketball betting
experts who follow the Atlantic Coast Conference for a living know that Duke will push North Carolina in this game. This game is regularly close no matter how well or how poorly the two teams are performing. It’s not likely to be a rout in the Dean E. Smith Center this Wednesday night. However, Duke is showing signs that it is not quite ready to win against a more athletic North Carolina squad. The Tar Heels are longer in the paint with John Henson and Tyler Zeller against the Plumlee brothers of Duke. Harrison Barnes on the wing is a better, more dynamic scorer than anyone the Blue Devils have.
The key will be the performance of point guard Kendall Marshall, who possesses great court vision but who can also get too amped up and commit stacks of turnovers when he’s not on his game. Playing at home, Marshall will probably have the comfort zone he needs to orchestrate the Tar Heels’ offense. That is likely to be the difference when this game is done.
It’s true – Kendall Marshall is the pivotal player in this game. If you think he’ll play well, pick North Carolina. If you think he’ll struggle, pick Duke. The verdict here says that he will thrive. The Tar Heels will therefore prevail.