Busting Brackets

UNC Basketball: 3 keys to victory over Duke in ACC regular season finale

The Tar Heels travel to Durham to take on the Blue Devils with the ACC regular season title on the line. What does UNC need to do to sweep the season series?

Carolina will be all smiles on Saturday if Elliot Cadeau and Harrison Ingram play their best
Carolina will be all smiles on Saturday if Elliot Cadeau and Harrison Ingram play their best / Grant Halverson/GettyImages
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1) Stop Kyle Filipowski

Armando Bacot had a slight edge over Kyle Filipowski the first time they met this year. Bacot played arguably his best game of the season in putting up a line of 25 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists, but Filipowski held his own despite being in foul trouble throughout the game, posting 22 points and five rebounds of his own.

The Tar Heels need to win that matchup again, but it won't be easy. Filipowski made a miraculous recovery after being nearly killed during the infamous Wake Forest court-storming incident two weeks ago, and he shredded Virginia's vaunted defense for 21 points in Duke's 25-point blowout of the Cavaliers last weekend.

The best way to limit Filipowski is to once again get him in foul trouble. Bacot has scored in double figures in eight of his last nine games after failing to do so in three straight, and he'll need to keep that aggressiveness on Saturday. He can also get some help from Jalen Washington, who played one of his best games of the season against Notre Dame.

Filipowski will be out for revenge against Bacot after the UNC senior and his teammates hit him with the "too small" celebration after an and-1 in Chapel Hill. He would no doubt love to end Bacot's ACC career with a loss.

Duke is a quality team, but it's at its best when Filipowski is leading the way. The recipe for Carolina is simple. Stop Filipowski, stop Duke.