Durham, N.C. -- Cameron Indoor Stadium
Saturday, 9 p.m.
ESPN (Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas, Dick Vitale)
"He's got the complete game… He's such a load inside because he's got a quick jump, he can go either direction, right hand, left hand, and he can score when he gets fouled. He's powerful enough to take a blow and still finish the play. He can score from mid-range. He really has no holes in his game." – UNC head coach Roy Williams
"Duke suffered a tough loss at Wake and a lot of people are saying that they never lose two in a row. It's going to be a tough game. We're going to bring it. Whether they show up or not, we're going to be there to play." – UNC forward J.P. Tokoto
Since the Last Meeting: Duke enters Saturday's contest with a 23-7 (12-5 ACC) record. The Blue Devils have won two of their three games since losing to UNC on Feb. 20. Duke held off No. 5 Syracuse (66-60) and routed Virginia Tech (66-48) before falling at Wake Forest (82-72) on Wednesday.
Parker Playing for ACC POY: Freshman forward Jabari Parker leads the ACC in rebounding (9.0 rpg), ranks second in scoring (18.8 ppg) and third in field goal percentage (48.3). His points have dropped slightly in league play (16.9 ppg), while his rebounds have increased (9.7). He leads the ACC with 13 double-doubles and has claimed ACC Rookie of the Week honors nine times, one shy of the record held by UNC's Tyler Hansbrough and Georgia Tech's Kenny Anderson.
Numbers Game: Duke's ability to win 12 of its 17 ACC games doesn't seem to match up with its field goal percentage statistics. The Blue Devils rank ninth in ACC play in field goal percentage (43.4) and 13th in field goal percentage defense (45.2). Duke paired a league-high 160 3-pointers (Boston College is second with 144) with a plus-2.9 turnover margin (3rd) to offset the aforementioned statistics.
Ball Control: Duke currently leads the ACC in assist-turnover ratio (1.54:1) overall and ranks second in ACC play behind Virginia (1.7:1). That ratio, should it hold, would rank as the highest since Duke began tracking the stat during the 1970-71 season. The previous record was set last year at 1.51:1. Individually, Quinn Cook leads the team (2.6:1) and ranks fifth in the ACC.
Struggles Down the Stretch: In four of its five ACC losses, Duke has led by seven points or more in the second half. The Blue Devils led Notre Dame by 10 points with 11:39 to play before losing 79-77. Against Clemson, Duke led by nine points early in the second half and was outscored 41-19 the rest of the way. UNC outscored Duke by 19 after falling behind by 11 and earlier this week the Blue Devils led the Demon Deacons by seven with 5:20 to play only to be outscored 23-6 to close the game.
NCAAT Seed Watch: Wednesday's loss dropped Duke to No. 8 in the RPI standings. The Blue Devils possess a 4-4 record against RPI Top-50 opponents. CBSSports.com bracketologist Jerry Palm currently projects Duke – along with UNC - as a No. 5 seed. Saturday's winner will likely be in contention for second- and third-round games at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.
Last Meeting: North Carolina rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to upset No. 5 Duke, 74-66, at the Smith Center on Feb. 20. The Blue Devils led 51-40 with 15:07 to play before the Tar Heels closed the game on a 34-15 run. Leslie McDonald paced UNC with a season-high 21 points and Marcus Paige scored all 13 of his points in the second half.
Series History: UNC leads the all-time series with Duke, 133-104. The Tar Heels have won five of the last eight meetings at Cameron Indoor. The Blue Devils have won seven of the last 10 overall.
3 Tyler Thornton (6-2, 190, Sr.) - 3.2 ppg, 2.4 apg
14 Rasheed Sulaimon (6-4, 190, So.) - 9.5 ppg, 2.7 apg
5 Rodney Hood (6-8, 215, So.) - 16.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg
1 Jabari Parker (6-8, 235, Fr.) - 18.8 ppg, 9.0 rpg
21 Amile Jefferson (6-9, 210, So.) - 6.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg
2 Quinn Cook (6-2, 180, Jr.) - 11.6 ppg, 4.4 apg
34 Andre Dawkins (6-5, 215, Sr.) - 8.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg
40 Marshall Plumlee (7-0, 260, So.) - 1.5 ppg, 2.4 apg
(Photos by USA Today Sports)