3 keys for No. 5 UNC men’s basketball

Today evening time, the North Carolina men’s b-ball group completes its general season in a home conflict with Duke at the Smith Center at 8:20 p.m.

3 keys for No. 5 UNC men's basketballUNC battled in its 86-78 misfortune at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Feb. 9, however the Tar Heels ripped off four straight wins before losing to Virginia on Monday. In the interim, the win over North Carolina was the Blue Devils’ fourth in a seven-diversion winning streak, however Duke has dropped two of its previous three amusements.


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Here are three keys for the No. 5 Tar Heels (25-6, 13-4 ACC) against the No. 17 Blue Devils (23-7, 11-6 ACC).

Jackson versus Kennard

Today’s challenge will exhibit two of the top players in the nation.

UNC’s Justin Jackson and Duke’s Luke Kennard, each group’s particular top scorer, are two of 10 semifinalists for the 2017 Naismith Award and the leaders for ACC Player of the Year. Kennard is second in the meeting in focuses per diversion (19.8) and first in 3-point rate (45.4), while Jackson is seventh in focuses (18.4) and second in 3-pointers per amusement (2.7).

In February’s matchup, both players scored no less than 20 focuses on eight made wicker bin and two made 3-pointers. From that point forward, each have had three 20-point trips and are making solid cases for postseason equipment.

Both groups will incline vigorously on their stars this evening. Whichever sparkles brighter could swing the result.

Clash of the sheets

North Carolina is the best bounce back group in the nation, pacing the country in bounce back per amusement (44), hostile bounce back per diversion (15.9) and bouncing back edge per amusement (13.3).


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Yet, in February, Duke flipped the script.

The Blue Devils outrebounded the Tar Heels, 31-30, in the group’s past meeting this season, holding UNC to 12 additional opportunity focuses. Duke hasn’t been a predominant bouncing back group this season, yet regardless it held North Carolina under tight restraints on the glass to strip its adversary of its greatest quality.

UNC’s unmatched preference on the sheets has overpowered rivals this season and made open doors for its offense, both on the quick break and in the paint. In any case, when their rival holds the bouncing back edge, the Tar Heels are 0-3 this season — including both the Duke misfortune and Monday’s misfortune at Virginia.

North Carolina reasserting itself on the glass doesn’t look good for the Blue Devils. In any case, if it’s a wash, Duke could debilitate once more.

Past the curve

In February, a course of 3-pointers from the Blue Devils covered UNC’s odds late.

In their past meeting, Duke sank 13 of its 27 endeavors from the border, including seven from Grayson Allen and two from Jayson Tatum — who hit a late blade from the corner to secure the energy.

That diversion likewise observed two 3-pointers from Kennard, who positions first in the ACC in 3-point rate and fifth in made 3-pointers. As a group, the Blue Devils are fourth in the gathering in made threes.

The Tar Heels have attempted to guard the 3-point shot this season, and UNC hasn’t brought home the bacon from the edge all alone. On the flip side, Duke is among the best in the country in restricting 3-pointers.

In the event that North Carolina takes an early lead, the Blue Devils are a long way from out of it. What’s more, if the diversion transforms into a 3-point shootout, the Tar Heels are in a bad position.

Updated: March 5, 2017 — 7:49 am

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