The independent news organization of Duke University

Beats' picks: Will Duke win against UNC in Coach K's final game in Cameron?

Freshman wing AJ Griffin erupted for 27 points in the first Duke-North Carolina matchup of the year.
Freshman wing AJ Griffin erupted for 27 points in the first Duke-North Carolina matchup of the year.

Saturday is Coach K's final dance in Cameron Indoor Stadium. And it's against North Carolina. No further introduction. 

Piazza: Duke 82-66

Coach K doesn't lose his last game in Cameron. I don't care who puts on the Tar Heel jerseys Saturday because I just simply can't believe that his story doesn't end with a win at home. Duke is playing the best basketball it has played since back in November when it took down Gonzaga in Las Vegas, and this recent Trevor Keels resurgence is going to be a nightmare for Hubert Davis and his Tar Heels. 

Rego: Duke 91-74

All gas, no brakes. Duke is going to come out firing on all cylinders Saturday, with its two most important players—Wendell Moore Jr. and Paolo Banchero—leading the charge from the jump. I’m expecting the Tar Heels to get up off the mat for a short stretch of the first half, but make no mistake. The Blue Devils have ample reason to be favored by double digits. Krzyzewski, during an emotional, unprecedented night, captures his 573rd and final victory at Cameron in style. Expect a party. 

Jackson: Duke 84-73

Oh boy, the pressure is high in this one. It feels as though many are already chalking this game up as a Duke win, but one cannot forget that this is an anything-can-happen rivalry and North Carolina has never been more motivated to pull off an upset in Cameron. Duke has seen some great recent performances from Banchero, Keels, Mark Williams and AJGriffin and there’s no indication that they’ll be slowing down now. The pressure of the situation does make me a bit nervous. 80+ former Blue Devils will be in attendance for Coach K’s final game and each shot will have millions of eyes watching it. This Duke team has never shied away from the pressure of a big game but this one is different. If the Blue Devils win, the celebration continues, but if they lose, well, it certainly throws a wrench in the sendoff party. 

Kolin: Duke 84-64

On March 6, 2010, Duke destroyed North Carolina 82-50 in Jon Scheyer’s final game at Cameron as a player. I see a similar form of domination taking place to cap off Coach K’s career in Cameron. The Blue Devils are playing their best basketball of the year right now, and the players have talked a lot about finally showing off in front of the home fans after playing their last three games on the road.

Morgenstern: Duke 82-70

The Blue Devils smashed the Tar Heels to bits in Coach K’s final game at North Carolina. In part this was due to a weak showing by Hubert Davis’ squad, but Duke is just a much superior team this year. Unless Banchero’s shoe breaks unexpectedly 30 seconds into the game, the Blue Devils will run away with the victory. But don’t be fooled. This is still Duke-Carolina, and anything can happen.

Richie: Duke 92-65

Duke by a million. North Carolina’s proved themselves as one of the top teams in the ACC so this should still be entertaining, but Duke is an order of magnitude, if not several, above every other ACC team. Brady Manek has certainly been a bright spot for the Tar Heels, but that won’t be enough against the Devils. The past few games, Duke has been a revelation. Three 20-point performances against Syracuse, Banchero getting his mojo back, career games from Mark Williams and Trevor Keels in the past two, need I say more? How about possibly the most electric atmosphere Cameron’s ever seen? The Blue Devils are rolling right before tournament season, and they’re not going to let a down-year Tar Heel team get in their way in their house. 

Levitan: Duke 89-86

Duke is a big favorite entering Saturday’s historic matchup in Durham, and rightfully so: these Blue Devils dominated the Tar Heels on the road a month ago, have won seven games in a row and appear to be rounding into form at just the right time. But North Carolina itself has won six of seven, and realistically speaking, is a better team than it showed Feb. 5 in Chapel Hill. No, these aren’t the most evenly-matched teams in the history of this storied rivalry, but this chapter should still go down as one of the most important and intense ones in recent memory—with the Blue Devils coming out on top, that is.

Hurewitz: Duke 82-70

We all know what happened the last time these two met. It was Duke domination—more specifically, AJ Griffin domination—and with how Duke is playing lately there’s simply no saying who is going to show out and lead the team to victory. Ultimately, this game has the same keys as the last. Lock down big man Armando Bacot in the post, shoot well from beyond the arc and limit sloppy plays are all on the board as the path to a Blue Devils win. But looming over it all is Coach K and the finality of his career at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The crowd is sure to be wild with former players in attendance alongside feverish Crazies, and the noise and hype could help the Blue Devils burst with momentum and cruise to an eighth-straight victory. I’m going with the No. 4 team in the nation all day.

Max Rego profile
Max Rego

Max Rego is a Trinity senior and an associate sports editor for The Chronicle's 118th volume. He was previously sports managing editor for Volume 117.

Jake C. Piazza

Jake Piazza is a Trinity senior and was sports editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.

Sasha Richie profile
Sasha Richie | Sports Managing Editor

Sasha Richie is a Trinity senior and a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

Micah Hurewitz

Micah Hurewitz is a Trinity senior and was previously a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.

Jonathan Levitan

Jonathan Levitan is a Trinity senior and was previously sports editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.


Share and discuss “Beats' picks: Will Duke win against UNC in Coach K's final game in Cameron?” on social media.