Duke and UNC signees predict tonight's Tobacco Road matchup

On the eve of Duke's matchup with North Carolina, seven players who represent the future of the Tobacco Road rivalry cast their votes to pick the winner.

Speaking with USA Today's Jason Jordan, future Blue Devils Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen and future Tar Heels Joel Berry, Theo Pinson and Justin Jackson picked the winner of the 237th installment of Duke and North Carolina. Not surprisingly, each of the seven players predicted their future school would be the winner. In addition to voting for a winner, each player had to specify a reason why the other school could win the contest.

Here are some highlights from the future college stars' responses:

Jahlil Okafor on why Duke will win:

"No question, Duke. First of all we have way too much firepower with Bari (Parker), (Rodney) Hood, Sheed (Sulaimon) and Quinn (Cook) just to name a few. It's in their gym so that helps them, but at the end of the day it's not about what they do, it's about what we do and how we play. I've got us by 15. Close all game, but we'll pull away toward the end."
Justise Winslow on how UNC could win:
"Coach Capel, Coach Wojo, Coach Nate, Mrs. Krzyzewski and Jay Williams start for Duke. Also, Coach K's dog, Blue, has to dress up as the Tar Heel mascot. Then, they've got a chance."
Theo Pinson on how Duke could win:
"I switch my commitment and commit there before the game then suit up a whole year early and play for them. As long as I suit up for Duke then they'll win. Good luck with that!"
As a wild-card of sorts, the eighth player to vote was Winston-Salem native Harry Giles, rated among the top players in the Class of 2016. Giles is being recruited heavily and by both Duke and North Carolina and has made a number of visits to both schools. Giles picked the Tar Heels to win at the Dean Dome and said that the Blue Devils will bounce back for a victory when the teams rematch at Cameron Indoor Stadium March 8.


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