Duke Basketball: Blue Devils Get Another Shot at Heels in Finale

BLACKSBURG, VA - FEBRUARY 26: Grayson Allen /

After a gut-wrenching loss at Virginia Tech, Duke heads back home to Cameron for the regular season finale, trying to even the season series with North Carolina.

Whoever loses this game will limp into Brooklyn with a two-game losing streak. We mentioned the Duke loss to Virginia Tech, but the North Carolina loss may have been tougher to swallow.

It was the Heels Senior Night and Miami came out with the mindset of spoiling it. The Hurricanes had a double-digit lead erased in the second half, but a last-second heave by Ja’Quan Newton gave the Hurricanes the major upset.

Now turning out attention to tonight. Carolina took the first matchup in the Dean Dome over a month ago, and until this week both teams have been playing very good basketball.

Carolina has won 7 of 8, while Duke has taken 5 of 6. Four of those five wins came without Marvin Bagley III for the Blue Devils.

Bagley had a monster night in the Dean Dome with 15 points and 16 rebounds, but the Blue Devils leading scorer was Gary Trent Jr.

More from Ball Durham

Trent Jr. has struggled recently, but getting back on track against Carolina would be just what the doctor ordered for the Blue Devils.

More importantly, it is the last time Grayson Allen will take the floor at Cameron. I expect him to have a big night against the team he loves to play against.

It will also most likely be the last game at Cameron for Bagley and Wendell Carter Jr. Their fellow freshman Trent Jr. and Trevon Duval also may be taking the floor for the final time, but there is still a chance one, or both of them, return.

For the Tar Heels, it was their leader Joel Berry that led the way on February 8th. Berry had 21 points.

Carolina also got great contributions from Kenny Williams was 20 points, Cam Johnson with 18, and Luke Maye with 15.

North Carolina has not yet seen a full 40 minutes of the Duke zone, so to see how they adjust to that will be key.

I’d imagine that Coach Roy Williams will put Theo Pinson in the middle of the zone and try and attack through him.

Duke should have won in Chapel Hill but now with a new and improved defense along with the finale at Cameron for Grayson Allen & Co., I think Duke will pull this one out and head to Brooklyn as the #2 seed in the ACC Tournament.

Prediction: Duke 79 North Carolina 72