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Andy Wittry | NCAA.com | February 8, 2020

No. 7 Duke at North Carolina: Time, TV channel, preview

March Madness bracket predictions, less than 6 weeks away

No. 7 Duke (19-3) and North Carolina (10-12) will meet for the first of two times this regular season on Saturday in Chapel Hill, where the Tar Heels have won in each of the last three seasons.

North Carolina swept Duke in the regular season last year, while Duke got revenge in the ACC tournament with a healthy Zion Williamson, and the Tar Heels actually have a 6-5 advantage over the Blue Devils over the last four seasons.

Here's the complete breakdown between Coach K and Roy Williams since the latter got to North Carolina.

Duke at North Carolina: Time, TV channel

North Carolina will host Duke at 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 8. The broadcast will be on ESPN and WatchESPN. Click or tap here for live stats.

Duke at North Carolina: Preview

Duke and North Carolina are at opposite ends of the ACC standings, which is a statement that's likely as weird to read as it was to write. The Blue Devils are tied for second with a 9-2 conference record, while the Tar Heels are tied for last at 3-8.

North Carolina enrolled one of the most talented freshmen in the country in guard Cole Anthony, who's averaging 19.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.7 steals per game, but he has played in just 11 of the Tar Heels' 22 games this season due to injury.

Duke is a No. 2 seed in March Madness correspondent Andy Katz's latest NCAA tournament projections, while North Carolina didn't make the cut. But a win over Duke could go a long way toward the Tar Heels at least getting close to fighting their way back into the conversation.

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Gone are Duke's First Team All-American duo of National Player of the Year Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, but the Blue Devils still rank in the top 10 of both offensive and defensive efficiency, like they did last season.

Freshman center Vernon Carey Jr. is an All-American candidate himself as he's leading Duke in scoring (17.8 ppg) and rebounding (9.0 rpg), while shooting 58.6 percent from the field. Sophomore point guard Tre Jones (15.2 ppg), freshman Cassius Stanley (12.0 ppg) and freshman forward Matthew Hurt (10.9 ppg) also average double figures in scoring.

Thanks to the team's deadly combination of a high 2-point percentage (54.5 percent, 18th nationally) and being an elite offensive rebounding squad (36.4 percent, ninth nationally), Duke's offense ranks fourth nationally in efficiency.

These are two teams that like to push the tempo, so expect a high-scoring game, at least from Duke's side of things.

Cole Anthony has played two games since he returned to the court for North Carolina but the Tar Heels lost them both, so unfortunately for them and their NCAA tournament hopes, it's not as simple as adding him back to the lineup and then rolling off a bunch of wins.

North Carolina is an elite rebounding team — ninth nationally in defensive rebounding percentage (77.6 percent) and 21st in offensive rebounding percentage (35.1 percent) — but the Tar Heels are average to below-average in most other areas.

They're making just 45.6 percent of their twos (307th), 29.6 percent of their threes (321st) and 65.6 percent of their free throws (311th), so there's not much shooting on this year's North Carolina team.

Cole Anthony, who scored 34 points with 11 rebounds and five assists against Notre Dame in his first collegiate game, is capable of taking over a game, so the Tar Heels' best chance of victory is likely to see how far he can take them, no matter how many shots it takes.

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