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UNC at #4 Duke

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What: College Basketball Armageddon 2010, Part II
Where: Danny Green Court at Hansbrough Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC
When: Saturday, March 6th, 9:00 PM
TV: ESPN
Records: UNC 16-14, 5-10 ACC; Duke 25-5, 12-3 ACC

UNC will go for a fifth straight win in Durham, something that would not salvage this season but certainly stands to make us all feel a little better. It also chance for UNC to crash another Duke senior night which has happened twice in the current four game winning streak.

Needless to say it will be a tall order.

UNC's two major problems are turnovers and poor shooting. Both of those are killers against any team but in such a hostile atmosphere and versus the Blue Devils' fairly tough defense they are exasperated further. The key? Survive the first five minutes. Duke is likely to come out hot and if the young Heels can handle the first five minutes and stay within striking distance, they have a chance to make a game of it. Of course that requires taking care of the ball and hitting shots so it is anyone's guess how it will go. There is a chance Duke has a cold shooting night. There is some debate about how much the playing time Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler will begin to impact them seeing that they routinely play 35-40 mins per game. That is what did J.J. Redick in four years ago and it might be a factor here.

As for drawing any clues from the first game, that really does not wash since UNC is not the same team. Ed Davis is out now. John Henson is fully entrenched at the four. Marcus Ginyard looks to be playing at a higher level and Will Graves(assuming he plays) seems to be shooting the ball better. Deon Thompson has a couple of 14 point games vs Duke in his career and who the heck knows what Leslie McDonald, Dexter Strickland and Larry Drew might do. All three are X factors really, especially McDonald and Strickland. Duke might have trouble guarding the UNC perimeter players given some of the speed that is there. The only other huge concern I have is Graves guarding Singler at the three. Graves is not quick to begin with and might be hobbled by a sprained ankle. Singler could find an easy time driving to the basket where I really hope John Henson is waiting when he gets there.

Honestly, I can't see UNC winning a fifth straight game in Durham. I also don't think Scheyer goes out like that. And yes I am pouring the reverse mojo on as thick as I can pour it.

Duke 84 UNC 68