NCAA Hoops Saturday on ESPN: (9) North Carolina at (5) Duke

(9) UNC at (5) Duke
Time: 7:15 PM CT (ESPN)
Spread: DUKE -8
Total: 159

Odds c/o 5dimes

The Duke Blue Devils have won 11-straight games to improve to 24-6 on the season and are in possession of a No. 5 AP Ranking.

Duke will host visiting North Carolina as 8-point favorites in a Saturday night showdown at 7:15 PM (CT) on ESPN. The over/under is set at 159 points according to college basketball oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.

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DUKE

Duke has been red hot and is a potential No. 1 seed candidate in the upcoming NCAA tournament this month. The Devils still are just No. 2 in the ACC, trailing 16-1 Virginia and unable to catch them at this point in the season. Still, the ACC tournament looms as an opportunity to upset Virginia and claim the ACC crown, howsoever unlikely it might be.

Duke has been led by likely lottery pick Marvin Bailey III. Bagley is averaging 20.7 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks/steals in his 33 minutes a night. No. 2 scorer Greyson Allen is averaging 15.5 points, 4.5 assists and 1.6 steals in a team-leading 34.7 minutes a night.

Rounding out the rotation are Gary Trent Jr., Wendell Carter Jr., and Trevon Duval.

All boast double-figure scoring averages, and Duke averages 85 points per game on the season. Allen has hit 79 threes, as has Trent Jr, though Trent Jr. is shooting a superior percentage on 79 of 184 on the season. Duke has hit 251 of 660 threes this year, and the team is shooting 49.5 percent from the field. The team clip for threes is hovering at 38 percent, which is a solid mark as the tournament nears in.

UNC

North Carolina has won its past five games to improve to 22-8 on the season. UNC ranks No. 3 in the ACC, behind both Virginia and Duke. The Tar Heels won the first matchup between the teams, winning 82-78 over Duke at home, but now the Tar Heels face Duke in Durham. In the win over Duke, the Tar Heels were led by Joel Berry II’s 21 points on 7 of 20 shooting.

Kenny Williams chipped in 20 points on 7 of 15 shooting, including 6 of 12 from three-point range. Cameron Johnson was the undisputed star of the game, though, with 18 points, 13 rebounds and two assists in 35 minutes. The Tar Heels shot just 39 percent from the floor in the win, but connected on 11 threes and turned the ball over only twice in the game. Conversely, Duke had eight turnovers and was out-rebounded by the Tar Heels 44-38. UNC will search for a repeat performance, though Duke is hot and favored in tonight’s showdown.

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