Why North Carolina Has No Chance Against Duke

Logan DaltonCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2010

CHAPEL HILL, NC - MARCH 08:  Teammates Jon Scheyer #30 and Kyle Singler #12 of the Duke Blue Devils try to grab a loose ball against Bobby Frasor #4 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at the Dean E. Smith Center on March 8, 2009 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Duke may be weak on the road, but North Carolina can't win any games at all in the ACC. Duke has three of the nation's top scorers at the guard positions, and Carolina doesn't even have any double-digit scorers at those spots.

I think the overtime loss to College of Charleston really put UNC in this tailspin. They had lost earlier, but the losses were to legitimate top-20 teams Kentucky, Syracuse, and Texas. This loss, however, started them on their current 2-6 ACC death race.

And it's not like Carolina isn't talented. They have 10 players on its roster who were at least four-star recruits coming out of high school. In contrast, recent foe Maryland only had four players who were four-star recruits and no five-star recruits.

This season Carolina is like Taylor Lautner, all hype and muscle, and no real skill or results at the box office or on the court. Like Lautner's movie New Moon,  the Heels started strong beating Big 10 powers Ohio St. and Michigan St. But as the season has progressed they've lost to ACC preseason bottom-feeders UVA and Wake Forest.

North Carolina's main weakness is no proven scorer. Ed Davis is a future lottery pick and a force on the low block with a feathery touch but he was invisible against Maryland. UNC also has virtually no bench with McDonald's All-American John Henson being a big disappointment.

On the other hand, Duke has three of the best wing scorers in America. Jon Scheyer is a dead eye three-point and free-throw shooter, who gives dimes to his teammates like Bill Gates to charity. Nolan Smith has a sweet crossover and natural athleticism paired with an improving jumper. Finally, Kyle Singler may be struggling, but he is finding his shooting stroke, canning eight triples against Georgia Tech.

Duke also has an arsenal of big men who can neutralize opposing frontcourts. Duke has  not struggled defensively in the post with the exception of the Georgia Tech game where Gani Lawal gave Brian Zoubek and the Plumlees fits.

I think Duke will win going away against North Carolina because of its consistent scorers, underrated post defense, and edge in experience as lead guys. The current Tar Heel team has ridden Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson, and Wayne Ellington's coattails for far too long and will lose 80-63 to the visiting Blue Devils