The Duke Blue Devils will be out for revenge against the rival North Carolina Tar Heels, but will likely have to go to Chapel Hill without Zion Williamson.
The North Carolina Tar Heels caught a big break in their first rivalry matchup with the Duke Blue Devils of the 2018-19 college basketball season. Zion Williamson was injured in the first 30 seconds of the game and did not return. Thus, Roy Williams’ team went on to put forth a dominant effort and victory against their hated rivals. On Saturday, they meet for the rematch in Chapel Hill to cap off their regular seasons.
Williamson has not played for Duke since the first matchup against UNC. Over that span, the Blue Devils have turned to RJ Barrett to lead the way, but to mixed results, especially with Cam Reddish and Tre Jones struggling a bit. They were upset by Virginia Tech, blew out Miami then were almost knocked off by a lowly Wake Forest team. Put simply, Coach K’s team needs to be better against their rivals on Saturday, especially with Williamson looking unlikely to play.
In the first meeting between these two, North Carolina senior forward Luke Maye was dominant with a 30-point double-double. Even more impressive, the Tar Heels cruised to victory with Maye and Cam Johnson leading the charge, but also with star freshman point guard Coby White struggling. As this team has been rolling down the stretch, they could be dangerous for the Blue Devils if all three players are in form.
The absence of a star player no doubt colors the rematch between Duke and North Carolina. Having said that, this is a rivalry where anything can happen at any time. As such, every college hoops fan will be turning their eyes to Chapel Hill on Saturday night as they try to sort things out atop the ACC.
TV and Live Stream info
Date: Saturday, March 9, 2019
Start Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Arena: Dean E. Smith Center
TV Info: ESPN
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Without Williamson in the fold, North Carolina fully dominated the first matchup against their hated rivals. There’s no doubt that, with time to prepare for playing without the star, Duke will be better equipped this time around. But even then, will it be enough to take down the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill? This is a big one, and it’ll be one heck of a season finale.