THE OPENING TIP
- In the 100th anniversary season of the Duke-North Carolina basketball rivalry, the teams meet for the 252nd time on Saturday night at the Dean E. Smith Center.
- The game tips at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN with Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas and Holly Rowe on the call. On the radio, David Shumate and John Roth have the call on the Blue Devil Sports Network from Learfield IMG College (96.5FM & 610AM in Durham) and on Sirius 81 and XM 81. The national radio broadcast on Westwood One has Spero Dedes and Will Perdue calling the action.
- No. 7 Duke has won four of the last eight at the Smith Center, and all-time under head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils lead the series, 47-44.
- The last 100 games of the Duke-UNC series are split 50-50, with each team scoring 7,746 points over the last 100 games.
- Coach K picked up his 500th ACC win (regular season and tournament) on Tuesday at Boston College, along with his 188th ACC road win — both figures are ACC records.
- Bob Cousy Award candidate Tre Jones leads the ACC in assists (6.7), is second in steals (1.9), third in A/T ratio (2.4), 10th in scoring (15.2) and 10th in field goal pct. (.442).
- Jones is one of only two major conference players in the nation averaging 15.0+ points, 6.0+ assists, a 2.0+ A/T ratio and shooting .440+ from the field.
- Jones is averaging 16.6 points over the last eight games. In his career on the road, he is 12-3 and averaging 11.1 points, 5.7 assists and 4.3 rebounds.
- Freshman Vernon Carey Jr., has 11 double-doubles this season. Each have been 15-10 games; eight have been 20-10 efforts — second-most among major conference players.
- The Blue Devils are second in the NCAA in scoring margin (+17.7) and third in points (82.5), and their four 30-point wins in ACC play have tied a school record.
- Duke is ranked No. 7 in the AP Poll, extending the Blue Devils’ streak to 38 consecutive polls in the top 10 — the second-longest in the nation.
- Duke has faced nine of the ACC’s 15 leading scorers, and held all but one to below his season scoring average.
DUKE VS. NORTH CAROLINA
The 2019-20 season marks the 100th anniversary of the first Duke-North Carolina game, which was played January 24, 1920 — a 36-25 UNC win in Durham…Saturday’s game in Chapel Hill is the 252nd all-time meeting, with North Carolina leading the series, 139-112…In Chapel Hill, UNC leads 63-36, including 19-15 at the Dean E. Smith Center. Duke has won four of the last eight at UNC…Duke is 47-44 versus UNC under Mike Krzyzewski…Saturday’s game marks the 56th consecutive in the series that Duke enters as a ranked team, and the 118th game in the series overall that Duke is ranked. As a ranked team, Duke is 67-50 versus UNC…RJ Barrett’s 33 points against the Heels in the first meeting last season marked the most by a Duke freshman in the rivalry’s history…Duke defeated Carolina, 74-73, in the semifinals of the 2019 ACC Tournament en route to the Blue Devils’ 21st ACC title, paced by 31 points from Zion Williamson…The teams have split the last 100 games in the series, with each team scoring 7,746 points over those 100 games…An expanded Duke-UNC series history can be found on the last page of these game notes.
SCOUTING THE TAR HEELS
North Carolina is 10-12 overall and 3-8 in ACC play…The Tar Heels are 2-3 over their last five, but the three setbacks have come by a total of nine points, including a double-overtime decision at Virginia Tech, 79-77, and a one-point loss to Boston College, 71-70…Freshman Cole Anthony missed 11 games with an injury, but returned two games ago. He leads the team in scoring (19.5), while averaging 6.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists…Garrison Brooks is averaging 14.9 points and is third in the conference in rebounding (9.1)…Carolina leads the ACC in both rebounds per game (43.2) and rebounding margin (+8.7). Duke is second in both categories (39.8, +6.7)
ON THIS DATE
Duke is 22-8 when playing on February 8th and has won nine of the last 10 and 13 of last 15…Duke and Carolina have met three previous times on February 8th — all coming in Chapel Hill — with Duke winning, 91-75, in 1958 and on Austin Rivers’ buzzer-beater, 85-84, in 2012. UNC won, 82-78, in 2018.
SHUTTING DOWN YOUR SCORER
Duke has held the opponent’s leading scorer to below his season scoring average 14 times this season, including in 12 of the last 15 games…In ACC play, Duke has faced nine of the conference’s 15 leading scorers 12 times, and held all but one (Syracuse’s Elijah Hughes) to below the player’s scoring average…Wake Forest’s Brandon Childress was held scoreless in Duke’s win on Jan. 11 at Cameron Indoor — he’s ninth in the ACC at 15.3 points, while the ACC’s second-leading scorer Jordan Nwora (19.4) was limited to six points in the Cardinals’ victory on Jan. 18…Nwora’s six points were a season low, while Virginia Tech freshman Landers Nolley II (fourth in the ACC at 17.2) scored just seven versus Duke. Miami’s Chris Lykes (eighth in the ACC, 15.7) was held to single digits in both Duke games.
DUKE AWAY FROM CAMERON
In the Coach K era, Duke is 258-143 (.642) in true road games and 276-77 (.780) in neutral site games, for a combined mark of 534-220 (.706) in all games outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium…In ACC regular season play, Duke is 188-118 (.612) away from home under Coach K. The Blue Devils are 132-65 (.667) in ACC road games since the 1996-97 season…Coach K’s 188 ACC road wins are a conference record…Dating back to the 2017-18 season, Duke has won 17 of its last 22 ACC road games. It marks the program’s best stretch since winning of 18 of 22 ACC road games from the 2009-10 season to the 2011-12 season…Coach K has also won 16 road games against AP top five teams, the most in the history of the AP poll.
SECOND IN SCORING MARGIN, THIRD IN SCORING OFFENSE
Duke is second nationally in scoring margin (+17.7) and third nationally in scoring offense (82.5)…Duke is 10-0 this season when scoring 85+ points…Seven of Duke’s 19 wins are by 30+ points, including four ACC wins by 30+, which ties a program record…The program record for most 30-point wins in ACC play was previously set in 1997-98, 1998-99 and 2000-01…The 39-point margin in the BC win (88-49) was Duke’s largest in an ACC game since beating Georgia Tech, 110-57, on Jan. 3, 2017.
CLUTCH FREE-THROW SHOOTING
In Duke’s 12 games this season where the final margin was 15 points or less, the Blue Devils are shooting .754 (49-of-65) at the free throw line in the final five minutes of those games…Sophomore Tre Jones leads the team in that category, hitting 28-of-30 (.933) at the line — included was his spotless 10-for-10 in the final five minutes to close out Syracuse.