Duke looking for first regular season sweep of North Carolina since 2015

Duke basketball (Photo by Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images) /

The Duke basketball team is gunning for its first regular season sweep of the North Carolina Tar Heels since the 2014-15 season on Saturday evening.

Duke and North Carolina always live up to the hype, and the rivalry turns to Durham for the first time this season.

The Blue Devils left Chapel Hill with an improbable and miraculous comeback back on February 8 in a 98-96 overtime victory that saw Duke hit two buzzer beaters, one to send the game to overtime and one to win the game in the extra session.

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While every team has a chance to sweep the regular season series, Duke has not done so since the 2014-15 season when the Blue Devils won the National Championship behind the play of Tyus Jones, Quinn Cook, Jahlil Okafor, and others.

Duke is also going for the massive sweep of North Carolina as the Lady Blue Devils won both of their meetings against the Tar Heels, and 2014-15 was also the last time the entire Duke basketball program, men’s and women’s, swept its regular season games against its rival.

Mike Krzyzewski announced on Friday night in a pregame meeting with the Cameron Crazies that he will start Jack White, Javin DeLaurier, and Justin Robinson on Senior Night at Cameron Indoor Stadium, as Robinson has been playing the best out of the senior trio over the last handful of games.

This is one of the first seasons in which most fans aren’t sure which freshmen and underclassmen will leave the Blue Devils, but it’s safe to assume that this will be Vernon Carey Jr.‘s last game in Cameron Indoor Stadium as well.

In its last win against North Carolina State, Duke implemented a 2-3 zone for the first time this season and against a 2-3 zone, the Tar Heels scored 92 points against the Syracuse Orange, the second game in its current three-game winning streak.

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Armando Bacot is questionable for the Tar Heels after being injured against the Orange and missing North Carolina’s last game against Wake Forest while the Heels will have Brandon Robinson in the lineup, who missed the first game against Duke due to an injury.

However, the key matchup to watch will be at the point guard position between Tre Jones and Cole Anthony as the two players led both of their teams in scoring in the first matchup.

Pending the results earlier in the day in the ACC, Duke could know its seeding for the conference tournament before tipping off against the Tar Heels as it is expected the Blue Devils will either be the No. 3 or No. 4 seed in Greensboro next week.

ALSO READ: What Duke fans should be rooting for on final day of season

Getting off to a fast start will be imperative for the Blue Devils in front of their raucous home crowd with tipoff between Duke and North Carolina coming at 6:00pm EST on ESPN.

PREDICTION: Duke 82, North Carolina 73