Duke's Zion Williamson (1) celebrates after he scored against North Carolina State during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

Next chapter of storied Duke-North Carolina rivalry set to be written

It could be argued as the greatest rivalry in all of sports.

And down on Tobacco Road, the next chapter will be written Wednesday night.

For the 249th time, the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels will battle it out on the hardwood. It will make for the 45th time the two meet as top-10 teams, with Duke being the No. 1 team in the country and North Carolina ranked eighth.

Tale of the Tape

Dealing with two blue-bloods in college basketball, they usually have rosters loaded with talent and win plenty of games. That’s the case once again this year with Duke and North Carolina, as both have eclipsed 20-wins on the season and have future NBA players on their rosters.

And of course, two legendary coaches are still calling the shots. Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams will once again face each other from opposite benches.

The two teams may dominate games similarly, but they have great differences. In Duke’s case, they are a young team led by their freshmen talents.

It’s been well documented the impact Duke’s “Freshman Four” can have on games. The quartet of Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish and Tre Jones has the Blue Devils firing on all cylinders. Coach K’s squad is currently on a nine-game winning streak, which includes wins over three ranked opponents.

As for the Tar Heels, they are veteran led, but still get key contributions from young guys. Senior guard Cameron Johnson is the Tar Heels’ leading scorer, averaging 16.3 points a game. Shooting at 47%, Johnson is the Tar Heels best three-point shooter.

Senior forward Luke Maye has been the leader in Chapel Hill for the past few seasons. Maye is averaging 14.5 points per game, while grabbing 9.6 rebounds.

And the Tar Heels also get their contributions from talented freshman. Point guard Coby White averages 15.7 points per game and doesn’t shy away from the moment. Forward Nassir Little is projected to be a top-10 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

The Zion Effect

Before he even step foot on Duke’s campus, Zion Williamson was already a sensation. His dunks in high school made him a viral phenom and his play at the collegiate level has only made him more of a star. The legend of Zion keeps getting bigger after every highlight dunk and Duke win.

Williamson has separated himself from the pack of potential NBA prospects. The draft isn’t til summer, but Williamson has already put himself as the front-runner to be the first overall pick and potentially the next superstar in the league.

Now as Williamson gains more and more attention and fame, more and more people want to see what could be basketball’s next big thing.

It’s reported that the cheapest ticket for Duke-North Carolina is approaching the likes a Super Bowl ticket would cost. The reason for that? Look no further than Williamson. Sports fans around the world are willing to pay top-dollar to watch Zion do his thing.


If you’re looking to watch the newest chapter of the storied rivalry, it’s going to cost you at least $2,500.

Game Info

Tip-off for the 249th meeting between Duke and North Carolina is set for 9 p.m. from Cameron Indoor Stadium on ESPN.

About Sam Graveline

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