Duke basketball: Are Blue Devils ready for North Carolina?

Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball head coach Jon Scheyer (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Is the Duke basketball team ready for its biggest, most anticipated, matchup of the year?

It is that time of year again for the Duke basketball program.

For weeks, Cameron Crazies have been staked out in the bitter cold in Krzyzewskiville all to see one of the biggest rivalries in the history of college sports, Duke vs. North Carolina.

This year saw the Blue Devils (16-6, 7-4 ACC) drop out of the Associated Press Top-25 Poll for the first time since the 2020-21 season, under the direction of new head coach John Scheyer.

It’s safe to say Duke has definitely encountered quite the rollercoaster of a season from unexpected injuries and tough matchups to Kyle Filipowski clinching ACC Rookie of the Week six times.

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It has been quite difficult to predict what will happen next.

Interestingly, the perspective of who is consider a ‘star’ for Duke has certainly changed throughout the season.

The transfers on the Blue Devils have continued to play exceptionally well, specifically Ryan Young.

Kyle Filipowski and Tyrese Proctor have also been exceptional in the clutch for the Blue Devils.

But how will they perform in this season’s most anticipated game of the year?

Duke basketball looking to build on recent momentum

It’s hard to ignore Duke’s recent heart-wrenching loss against Virginia Tech, where Filipowski was able to put up 29 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists in 34 minutes of play.

However, Duke was able to bounce back with a victory against Georgia Tech (8-14, 1-11 ACC), obliterating the Yellow Jackets 86-43.

Filipowski was once again the leading scorer for the Blue Devils, acquiring 18 points, seven rebounds, and two assists, but ever since Dariq Whitehead hobbled off the court in Duke’s loss against Virginia Tech, and has yet to return, John Scheyer has confided in junior captain Jeremy Roach and freshman Tyrese Proctor to make up for the freshman forward’s absence.

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The Blue Devils need momentum heading into this game.

Duke is only looking to extend their win streak to two games, the Tar Heels are looking to bounce back from a frustrating home loss against Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.

While neither team has had the perfect season, it will be interesting to see how John Scheyer’s squad will perform under pressure in its biggest matchup of the season.

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