Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, NC, will be the site for one of the biggest games of the year, as hated ACC rivals, (19-4, 6-2) Duke Blue Devils [+6.5] and (20-3, Conf: 7-1) UNC Tar Heels [-6.5] square off in a matchup of college basketball picks juggernauts. This game is scheduled to get underway this evening at 9 PM ET and it’ll be broadcasted live on ESPN.
According to college basketball picks specialists, the projected OVER/UNDER line is set at a combined total of 157 points. The last time these rivals met dates back to March 13th of last season in Greensboro when Duke and UNC were ranked 5th and 6th respectively in the ACC Championship tournament.
Led by Nolan Smith’s 20-point and 10-assist, the Blue Devils came away with a dominating, 75-58 victory, which clinched yet another ACC title for Coach Mike Krzyzewski. The victory gave Duke a record 19th tournament title. It was the Blue Devils third straight tournament title, and their 10th in 13 years.
“I love the ACC. The ACC has made me a better coach,” Krzyzewski said. “I just feel that when you are a part of something that’s bigger than you and you’re in a tournament representing that conference, you should try to be at your best. That’s my attitude with it. We don’t talk about the NCAA tournament or anything like that. We just say we want to win this tournament. You could see how happy we are.”
This year, the Tar Heels have been playing much better than their counterparts, who have been listed as the college basketball picks favorites by almost 7 points in this one. While Duke is coming off its most disappointing loss of the season — a 74-78 home loss versus the unranked Miami Hurricanes — the Heels have won 14 of their last 15 games played. After stumbling at Florida State, UNC has bounced back nicely, as they come in winners of five straight.
This will be a tough stretch for North Carolina, however, as four of its last 8 games will be against nationally ranked opponents, including a season finale against these same Blue Devils.
“I think this will help us a lot,” said Tyler Zeller about potentially beating Duke tonight. “It shows we can be tough enough in the end to be able to make the plays and get the stops we needed.”
Although NCAA college basketball odds have the Blue Devils listed as underdogs by 6.5 points, I still like Duke in this matchup. Their hiccup against Miami is only going to rally this team and motivate them to not let up against any opponent. I really like Coach K and his boys tonight, and especially with almost a 7-point cushion!
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