Game 31: Duke basketball versus North Carolina
The Duke Blue Devils will host the UNC Tar Heels on March 5 at 6 p.m. ET (ESPN) in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The game will be the team’s last of the regular season and Mike Krzyzewski’s last in front of the Cameron Crazies.
Imagine the ridicule the Blue Devils will draw should they lose to their Tobacco Road archrivals in Coach K’s final home game. Talk about added pressure to win — mind you, in front of fans who may have mortgaged their houses to get a ticket. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels have less to lose in this sense yet something so sweet for them to gain: one eternal bragging right.
Now, factoring in that arguably unfair weight on the Duke players’ shoulders, it’s the prediction here that Dukies everywhere will be ill beyond belief at the end.
Just wait, though, for these dejected Blue Devils would still have time to ensure that their legendary leader has the ultimate last laugh before his retirement at season’s end. With that in mind, recognize that the lessons from this forecasted bitter defeat might pay great dividends for Duke in the weeks to follow.
Predicted final score: UNC 88, Duke 82
The Blue Devils fall to 26-5 overall (16-4 ACC) on the season and enter the ACC Tournament as the No. 2 seed.