North Carolina at Duke
When: 9:00 PM ET, Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, North Carolina
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
DURHAM – The 2018-19 season gets its first installment of the Tobacco Road rivalry tonight when North Carolina visits Duke. The Blue Devils, who were just crowned the No. 1 team in the country in this week’s edition of the rankings, put their nine-game win streak on the line, while the ninth-ranked Tar Heels can pull into a tie atop the ACC standings with a victory.
Freshman RJ Barrett recorded the first triple-double by a Duke player in 13 years Saturday with 23 points, 11 rebounds and a season-best 10 assists in the Blue Devils’ 94-78 victory over North Carolina State. “My teammates were obviously finishing, and it was great to play with them, especially Zion (Williamson) especially at the end, just grabbing everything, finishing everything,” Barrett told reporters after his historic performance. North Carolina bounced back from its home loss to No. 3 Virginia two games ago with the most lopsided conference road win in program history in smacking Wake Forest 95-57 on Saturday. “We jumped on them early,” senior Kenny Williams told reporters afterward. “I think our defense was really focused and we made everything tough on them.”
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (20-5, 10-2 ACC): Senior guard and leading scorer Cameron Johnson (16.3 points per game) had 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including 7-of-10 from long range, while also chipping in with three rebounds, three assists and three steals Saturday. Luke Maye and Coby White each added 10 points as 13 Tar Heels recorded points in the blowout. North Carolina shot 62.3 percent from the floor, including 74.1 percent in the first half, and 64 percent from the 3-point line – a program record for any road game in which they attempted 20 or more 3s.
ABOUT DUKE (23-2, 11-1): Barrett continues to lead the ACC in scoring at 22.7 points per game, though Williamson’s 32-point outburst against N.C. State has him closing in on Barrett as he is now averaging 22.4 points. Tre Jones added 13 points as the Blue Devils were able to score 94 despite shooting 3-of-16 from the 3-point line. Duke dominated on the glass against the Wolfpack, winning the rebounding battle 44-26 and the Blue Devils sit second in the conference at 42.2 rebounds per game, just behind North Carolina’s 42.5.
1. North Carolina leads the series 96-83. The teams split a pair of regular-season games last year, with the home team winning each time, and the Tar Heels won the rubber match in the semifinals of the ACC tournament.
2. The Tar Heels are 6-0 on the road in ACC play, while the Blue Devils’ only conference loss came at home.
3. North Carolina leads the ACC in scoring at 87.5 points per game and Duke is second at 86.4.