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Duke v North Carolina

by Sharon Thorsland

North Carolina is comfortably on top of the ACC with a two game lead over the field.

They’re looking to extend that tonight when they take on Clemson in Chapel Hill. The 3rd

ranked Tar Heels are coming off an impressive win over Duke on Saturday that improved

them to 10-1 in the conference and 18-4 overall. The Tigers started out the season hot and

even reached number 13 in the AP Top 25 before reality set in when they started conference

play. They’re currently 4-6 in the ACC and 14-7 overall, but their last three losses have

come by a combined five points. Tip-off is set for 7:00 on WBT.

Generating offense has been difficult for the Tigers this season, they’re managing just 79

points a game, that’s 64th in the country. Center PJ Hall is their go-to guy, the senior is one

of the best big men in the league, averaging nearly 20 points and seven rebounds per game.

The Tigers have a veteran back court with Syracuse grad transfer Joseph Girard and senior

Chase Hunter combining for over 26 points a contest. Ian Schieffelin leads the Tigers with

nearly 10 rebounds a game. The Tigers are one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the

ACC, they just 30% from behind the arc. They’ll face a UNC defense that has been playing

at an elite level and limits teams to just 26.8% from deep. The Tigers made just one of 18

attempts in their first matchup against the Tar Heels this season, a 65-55 UNC win.

The Tigers have struggled defensively in ACC play, they’re allowing opponents to shoot

over 52% from the field. And now they’ll face a UNC team that is rolling on offense.

Behind senior guard RJ Davis, the Tar Heels average over 83 points a game. They also lead

the league in offensive rebounds and boast the top rebounder in Armando Bacot. Clemson

will have to focus on limiting second-chance opportunities if they want to slow down the


This Clemson team is certainly better than its record – the Tigers have some big-time wins

this season (South Carolina, Alabama and TCU), and lost one game in double overtime and

two in the last second. But they’ve had no luck playing in Chapel Hill, with a 1-60 record

since 1926. Their only win came back in 2020. It doesn’t look like their luck will change

this trip – UNC is playing excellent basketball right now and is undefeated at home this

season. GoTar Heels!