Saturday, March 8, 2008

Duke-UNC Preview

What a surprise, Duke and UNC are meeting once again for an ACC Regular Season Title.

A lot is at stake here, the winner will clinch the ACC Regular season title as mentioned above and possibly a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. Plus, that number one seed will likely be playing close to home in Raleigh the first two rounds and then down the road in Charlotte for the regional.

Duke beat the Ty Lawson-less Heels the last time at Chapel Hill, but now Lawson is back and almost at full-strength. The Heels are a different team with Ty Lawson, without Ty they don't have much depth at guard, especially PG. The defense changes too, Greg Paulus will not have the outstanding game like he had last time with Lawson on him. The majority of the time he had Quinton Thomas guarding him, who is not by any means a great defender. Paulus will have a tougher time finding open three's.

Also, Wayne Ellington will not have as much pressure on him. Duke keyed on him quite a bit, Gerald Henderson is a great defender and did a great job on Ellington, but now the Devils won't be keying on Ellington as much with Lawson back.

Even with Lawson back, UNC is still a pretty poor perimeter defensive team. Which was their achilles heal last season and again this season. Duke will still get some three's to drop but they won't get as many good looks this time around.

UNC will be able to generate more transition points with Lawson. Quinton Thomas turned it over nearly everytime they tried to get out and run.

As for Duke, if they can get Hansbrough in foul trouble early that could set the tone for the rest of the game. Singler I think is the x-factor here, he was too quick for Hansbrough last game, and if they can get Hansbrough out, that will get hurt UNC defensively and take away anything inside.

Tywon Lawson is everything to this UNC team. We will for sure see a different team then we did last February. So I like the Tar Heels to win in Durham and spoil another Blue Devils Senior night.

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