For the first time since 2019, Duke and North Carolina will meet on the basketball court with both teams ranked in the top 10 as college basketball’s premier rivalry writes its next chapter Saturday. The No. 3 Tar Heels enter with a one-game lead on the No. 7 Blue Devils in the loss column of the ACC standings as February dawns with both jockeying for a conference title and prime NCAA Tournament seeding.
The simultaneous strength of Duke and North Carolina raises the level of intrigue on a matchup that is always hotly contested. At 16-4 (7-2 ACC), the Blue Devils have won 11 of their last 12 since falling in their ACC opener at Georgia Tech on Dec. 2.
North Carolina also lost to Georgia Tech, which upset UNC on Wednesday to end the Tar Heels’ winning streak at 10 games. The loss stopped North Carolina’s run as the last power conference team still unbeaten against league foes. But the Tar Heels remain undefeated at home and can push their edge in the ACC standings back to two with a win.
These teams split their regular season series last season with the home team winning each game. Now it’s time to write a new chapter on Tobacco Road as several players on both sides get their first tastes of the rivalry.
How to watch Duke vs. North Carolina live
Date: Saturday, Feb. 3 | Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Location: Dean E. Smith Center — Chapel Hill, North Carolina
TV: ESPN | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Duke vs. North Carolina prediction, picks
Odds via Sportsline consensus
There is plenty of familiarity on both sides as RJ Davis leads the Tar Heels into this matchup while enjoying the best season of his four-year career. He and interior sidekick Armando Bacot have been through their share of battles against Duke. With their leadership, UNC should win this game on its home floor. But the Blue Devils counter with the grizzled warrior of their own in senior guard Jeremy Roach. They also have a cast of ultra-talented freshmen,, and sophomores with the capacity for offensive fireworks. Look for Duke to keep this one tight and at least have a shot at the upset. Prediction: Duke +4
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