Duke/UNC pregame analysis
There is much consternation regarding McCants' medical condition among the North Carolina faithful. Well, perhaps ACC Player of the Week Raymond Felton is ready to carry the load. We shall see. But I admit it's odd that the 'Heels have only had one Player of the Week given that they lead the league in victories. Here's what Coach K had to say about McCants' absense:
On the illness of Rashad McCants:Could Coach Roy Williams win National Coach of the Year? The BasketBlog's response: no way. Coach K has a better shot because this year's Duke team is not nearly as talented as this year's Carolina team. And the CotY Award is about beating expecations. Coach Roy's "problem" is that he is only matching expectations. No matter, because Illinois' coach, Bruce Weber, is the money bet.
"We'll prepare like he is [going to play] and hopefully he is. You hate to see any kid get sick, hurt or whatever, at any time." "They've had a few games to adjust to it. Just like we've had a couple of games to adjust without Sean [Dockery]. It's who you are right now. You know? You play and see who wins."
Sean May, Rashad McCants, Chris Paul and J.J. Redick are among the 10 finalists for the 2005 Adolph Rupp Trophy. The final five will be selected after this Sunday. Check here for the results.
Congrats also to Daniel Ewing who is receiving commendation for his career.
Here's the history:
This will mark the 219th meeting between Duke and North Carolina with the Tar Heels holding a 123-95 series advantage. Duke has won 15 of the last 17 meetings between the two schools, including victories in each of the past four games. The rivalry is considered by many as the greatest in college basketball. Under Mike Krzyzewski, Duke is 30-28 vs. North Carolina. (link in original)Over the last few years Duke has the advantage but Carolina has the historical advantage.
Here's the key stat for Duke
Duke has allowed just one opponent to shoot better than .500 from the field this season (No. 5 Wake Forest on Feb. 20). In 14 of 26 games, opponents have shot less than .400 from the floor against the Blue Devils' defenseWe'll know by 6:30 pm tomorrow whether Duke plays that type of defense. Carolina, on the other hand, has to score more than 70 points. In the games where Carolina has scored 70 or less, they're 1-2, including a loss at Duke.
I predicted Duke would finish 6-3. If I predicted a Duke victory over Carolina, I would make sure that one of my predictions proved true. Either I'd be right that they win today but wrong about 6-3 or the other way 'round. But frankly, I think Carolina has it in them to win a very close game even without McCants. And I'd rather be right on both counts or wrong on both counts than take the pansy way out. We shall see whether I am, in fact, an idiot.