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Tale of the Tape: UNC vs Duke

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Heels vs Blue Devils

North Carolina Duke
Record 18-7 22-3
ACC Record 8-4 9-3
KenPom Rank 16th 8th
Points per game 78.7 80.3
Adj. Off. Efficiency(Rank) 116.2(11th) 121.0(2nd)
Ad. Def. Efficiency(Rank) 96.5(67th) 95.3(57th)
Tempo(Rank) 70.1(14th) 67.3(60th)
Offensive eFG% 50.7% 56.2%
Defensive eFG% 44.6% 47.3%
Field Goal % 47.0% 49.7%
3P FG% 32.9% 38.1%
FT% 69.2% 69.9%
Offensive Reb Rate 42.2% 37.6%
Defensive Reb Rate 68.9% 71.0%
TO Rate 18.3% 16.7%
FT Rate 38.7% 42.9%

This is very straightforward. Two teams ranked at or in the top ten in offensive efficiency and averaging at least 67 possessions per game but with some less than stellar defense. On paper this stands to be more about which offense can hit shots rather than anything the respective defenses do.

The issue with it being an offensive game is despite UNC's 11th ranked efficiency number, UNC isn't a great shooting team. Duke on the other hand hitting nearly 56% inside the arc and a very respectable 38.1% outside of it. Unlike seasons past where beating Duke was just about closing out on shooters without much regard for the interior. The presence of Jahlil Okafor makes the latter impossible. UNC has to respect Okafor which creates nice spacing for Duke's three point shooters. PG Tyus Jones' penetration is also an issue since it stands to unravel the entire defensive scheme.

On the other end, UNC has to find consistent shooting certainly on the interior but Marcus Paige needs to show up in a big way. Paige is in a bit of a shooting funk from the perimeter. After 13 straight games of hitting at least two threes and doing that in 18 of UNC's 25 games this season, Paige went 1-5 against Boston College and 1-7 versus Pittsburgh. Those two games disrupted what had been a nice run of shooting for Paige in ACC play. Prior to facing Boston College, Paige was hitting 45% of his threes in ACC play. That number is down to 40.5% after the recent 2-12 slump. Breaking out of that slump will be critical if UNC is to escape Duke with a win.