UNC Basketball: 2018-19 keys for Tar Heels to beat rival Duke

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CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 11: Kenny Williams #24 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts after making a three-point basket against the Virginia Cavaliers during the first half of their game at the Dean Smith Center on February 11, 2019 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

UNC Basketball and the Duke Blue Devils are renewing their historic rivalry on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at Cameron Indoor. UNC has won eight out of the last nine games while Duke is on a nine-game winning streak. How can the Tar Heels snap that winning streak on the road?

The greatest rivalry in college basketball is renewed on Wednesday Feb. 20 when North Carolina travels to Durham to play Duke. It will be the first top-10 match up between the two teams since 2012. The Tar Heels did snap a seven-game winning streak early last week when they lost to Virginia by eight. But the Cavaliers are still one of the best teams in the country.

Duke is the best team in the country. As hard as it is for some to admit, the Blue Devils are polling as the number one team on the bracket matrix. And have been for a while. Their only two losses have come to Gonzaga way back in Maui and an overtime loss to Syracuse. The Orange have a tendency to do those kind of things.

The Blue Devils started a nine-game winning streak with a win over Virginia. During that time, they knocked off the Cavaliers again, won a thrilling comeback against Louisville and then a beat down North Carolina State.  Seven of those nine wins have come from a margin of 10 or more points. But they haven’t eclipsed 100.

North Carolina though has a couple wins where they went over the century mark. And they did it against good teams. They played the 10th ranked Virginia Tech Hokies at the end of January and scored 103. It was the night of the freshmen. Coby White made five three-pointers for 27 points and Nassir Little shot 58 percent from the field while scoring 23.

The best scoring performance came when they dropped 113 on State. Luke Maye shot over 66 percent and scored 31 points. Garrison Brooks hauled in five offensive rebounds and dished six assists. It was a 17-point win where a lot of guys played. They out rebounded the Pack 38-22.

It’s going to be a tall task when they have to go on the road to play Zion Williamson. The Tar Heels have never seen a guy quite like him line up for Duke. He is a monster that never quits. That’s really the only way to describe him. Four out of the top-five recruits from this year’s class will be on display. So what is North Carolina going to have to do to snap their rivals winning streak?

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