With a slightly scary win over Syracuse in the return of Zion Williamson, the Duke Blue Devils set up a third meeting on the year with the UNC Tar Heels. Although UNC holds a 2-0 series lead on the year, the Tar Heels have yet to face Duke with Zion Williamson. Williamson is arguably the most influential player in the nation and his presence alone turns Duke into a national championship favorite.
Zion made his presence known immediately with a monster 21 point, 9 rebound, and 5 steal stat line in the first half alone. Despite a Syracuse run in the early second half that coincided with RJ Barret falling into foul trouble, Williamson and Duke would repeatedly have an answer for anything Syracuse threw their way and survived a deceptively tough Orange team.
UNC had a quality wire to wire win over Louisville in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament and look to be primed to make a deep tournament run on the back of strong mix between experience and freshman talent. Coach Roy Williams has the Tar Heels playing excellent basketball and the Tar Heels have been lights out since a home loss to UVA.
Duke Blue Devils vs UNC Tar Heels Betting Line & Odds
(All Lines/Odds Courtesy of Oddsshark)
- Duke Blue Devils (27-5) vs UNC Tar Heels (27-5)
- Friday, March 15th at 9:30 pm ET
- Point Spread: Duke Blue Devils (-3)
- Point Total: (162)
Duke vs UNC Prediction & Pick
UNC holds two resounding wins over Duke but has yet to see the mismatch that Zion Williamson can create. An agile freight train, Williamson is adept at snagging rebounds over bigger opponents and getting Duke out and running. His defense also makes a massive impact on Duke’s play as he has shown the ability to be excellent at both jumping passing lanes and blocking shots.
UNC are no slouches in their own right and boast an extremely talented and experienced roster. However, they don’t possess anyone on the roster capable of matching up with Zion Williamson (not that anyone does) and Duke should look like a completely different team. More than that, beating a team three times in the same season is extremely difficult and should be only more of a daunting task when you consider that team is Zion Williamson’s Duke.
Cameron Johnson, Coby White, and Luke Maye have all been fantastic down the stretch while Nassir Little has looked to begin playing to his full potential. Unfortunately, even without Marques Bolden for the rest of the ACC tournament, Duke should be far too much to handle this time around with Zion playing like a man possessed. Williamson was visibly furious on the sidelines after Duke’s last loss to UNC and will come out looking for blood.
Predicted Score: Duke 81 – 77
Pick: Duke -3