One of the biggest rivalries in college basketball heats up as UNC visits Duke tonight in Durham. It’s the first match-up for the two teams this season and both of them are coming off blowout wins. The Tar Heels are playing perhaps their strongest basketball of the season, a trend that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski:
"I think their offense the last three games has been unbelievable. Everybody’s involved. Their timing is good. They’re shooting well. I mean really well. They’re not just a really good team with talent, excellent talent. They’re playing at a high level right now."
The game isn’t just for bragging rights. The winner will take sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. . UNC has won 10 of their last 11 games, their last 3 by at least 20 points each. Duke has just two losses on the season and come into the game ranked 5th in the nation in both the ESPN Coaches and AP polls. And Duke has won 32 straight games at home. That’s the longest streak in the nation. But stats aside, the game has added significance for seniors like Duke guard Nolan Smith:
" It’s just going to be a big time game, you know. It’s going to be a big time environment. And for me it’s my last time playing Carolina in Cameron. So, you know they have a very, very talented team and we’re just going to have to be ready to play. They match up and they’re very athletic."