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North Carolina vs. Duke: Tar Heels Must Avenge Home-Court Loss at Blue Devils

CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 08:  Harrison Barnes #40 of the North Carolina Tar Heels and Mason Plumlee #5 of the Duke Blue Devils during their game at the Dean Smith Center on February 8, 2012 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Jeff ChaseSenior Analyst IIMarch 2, 2012

After dropping a game on their home court to the Duke Blue Devils in a devastating 85-84 loss back on February 8th, the North Carolina Tar Heels must do the same to their ACC rivals on Duke's home court this Saturday.

With these two teams set to battle it out in Durham, nobody can ask for a better way to end the regular college basketball season.

Not to mention, when these two ACC powerhouses collide, there is going to be a lot at stake. 

When the Blue Devils took down the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, UNC was ranked fifth in the nation compared to their counterparts being ninth. Things have changed since the loss, as now the Tar Heels will be the lower ranked team coming into an upset situation.

In that game, Blue Devils star freshman Austin Rivers showed his true potential, as he tore up the his rivals for 29 points. UNC's Harrison Barnes had a good game as well, racking up 25 points on the night.

CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 08:  Harrison Barnes #40 of the North Carolina Tar Heels and Austin Rivers #0 of the Duke Blue Devils during their game at the Dean Smith Center on February 8, 2012 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

When the two teams enter Cameron Stadium, nobody should expect anything less than for these two players to light it up again.

For the Tar Heels, they desperately need Barnes to outshine Rivers on the floor of their opponent.

If the No. 6 Tar Heels can walk away with a win against No. 3 Duke, the team will have a chance to jump the Blue Devils and possibly take the lead in the polls.

More importantly, the team needs to do what they can to try and capture a No. 1 seed heading into this year's tournament, and nothing would lock that up more than a defining win in their last game of the season.

Both teams need this win more than anything, and it will determine just where each sits going into the big dance. Nobody is going to let the other off easy, and without a doubt this game will go down to the wire.

As of now, the advantage is in the Blue Devils' court—but as we saw this past season, these teams don't shy away from standing on the floor of their opposition.

 

Jeff Chase is a Featured Columnist for the Chicago Cubs and Arizona State football.

Follow @Real_Jeff_Chase

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