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Tale of the Tape: UNC-Duke

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

A statistical view of UNC's match-up with Duke.

North Carolina Duke
Record 16-7 19-5
ACC Record 6-4 8-3
KenPom Rank 27th 2nd
Points per game 75.8 82.2
Points per possession 1.07 1.23
Offensive Efficiency(Rank) 109.9(76th) 128.6(1st)
Defensive Efficiency(Rank) 93.3(16th) 100.3(90th)
Tempo(Rank) 71.6(17th) 67.8(127th)
Offensive eFG% 48.7% 55.9%
Defensive eFG% 44.9% 49.0%
Field Goal % 45.6% 47.5%
3P FG% 31.8% 42.0%
Offensive Reb Rate 38.4% 34.1%
Defensive Reb Rate 69.0% 70.2%
TO Rate 17.5% 14.2%
FT Rate 45.2% 40.8%
KenPom win probability Duke 58%

Stats sources: KenPom and Statsheet

BREAKING: Duke's offense is really, really good.

The Blue Devils don't turn the ball over, shoot 42% from three and are on pace to blow away the highest offensive efficiency rating ever recorded by KenPom. The offense is so good it doesn't matter they are only a slightly above average offensive rebounding team or 165th in free throw rate. Duke can fill it up in a hurry with multiple perimeter shooters and several versatile big men.

That is probably why it's a good thing that UNC is 16th in defensive efficiency and teams are shooting just 30.9% from three against the Heels. And it's not for lack of effort. Opposing teams are taking 34.8% of their field goal attempts from three which is in the bottom half of the national rankings but to this point have not had nearly as much success as people perceive they do. Obviously Duke could turn that on it's head in a heartbeat. Duke is a match-up nightmare for UNC given the differences in personnel and there is some truth to the notion that the Tar Heels' best chance lies in a off shooting night from the Blue Devils.

Another factor that could work in UNC's favor is Duke has not been a very good defensive team this season. Given UNC's offensive consistency at times, it stands to reason this could be a game where the Tar Heels can score at a much more efficient clip. UNC probably cannot do it enough to keep pace with Duke if the Blue Devils are truly on but in a game where the Tar Heel defense plays well, a solid offensive outing could get the job done. Given the lack of interior presence for Duke, it will be imperative for UNC to get production from James Michael McAdoo, Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meeks.