Austin Rivers and No. 3 Duke host Tyler Zeller and No. 6 North Carolina in a winner-take-all battle for the ACC regular season title.We gave you an idea of what this game means, so here’s an inside look at Saturday night’s winner-take-all ACC game between No. 6 North Carolina and No. 3 Duke (ESPN, 7 ET).
Highest Paint PPG Differential Big Six Conference
POINTS IN THE PAINT
North Carolina is averaging 38.7 paint points per game this season, the most by any major conference school.
Duke allows 31.7 paint points per game this season, the second-most by a Big Six Conference team. In their four losses this season, the Blue Devils allowed 37.0 paint points per game.
The Blue Devils are 15-4 when they allow 30 or more points in the paint -- that’s four more such wins than any other Big Six Conference school. North Carolina is 20-1 this season when it scores 35 or more points in the paint. The Tar Heels’ lone loss was to Duke on Feb. 8 (40 paint points).
North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller has 163 points on post-up plays this season, the most in the ACC. Zeller gets to the free throw line on 20 percent of his post-up plays.
BATTLE OF THE GUARDS
Point guard Kendall Marshall has assisted on 43.4 percent of North Carolina’s made baskets when he’s on the floor this season, the highest percentage in the ACC and fifth-highest nationally, according to StatSheet.com.
More than 30 percent of his assists during ACC play have come in transition and nearly 57 percent of his ACC assists have led to layups or dunks.
His favorite players are John Henson (40 assists) and Zeller (37), and overall he’s assisted on 27 percent of his team’s points in conference play.
On the other side, Duke freshman Austin Rivers is averaging 17.2 points per game and shooting better than 40 percent from the 3-point line in his past 13 games. During this stretch, Rivers is averaging almost seven pick-and-roll plays per game and shoots better than 40 percent from 3-point range on these plays.
Highest Opp Pts Per 100 Poss
Duke Since 1996-97
TEAMS IN TRANSITION
North Carolina outscored Duke 16-4 in transition on Feb. 8, but the Tar Heels’ last transition play came with 10:37 remaining on a Harrison Barnes layup.
Carolina is fourth in the country in transition PPG, their best since they led the nation in 2008-09, when they won the national championship.
Duke (113.9) and North Carolina (112.7) rank 1-2 in the ACC in offensive efficiency this season according to StatSheet.com. Duke has an uncharacteristically poor defense this season.
The Blue Devils are allowing 98.7 points per 100 possessions, which ranks 147th in the nation. They’re on pace to finish outside the top 50 in that category for the first time since rankings were available in 2000 (StatSheet.com).
Duke is allowing opponents to shoot better than 47 percent on 2-point field goals, its highest percentage in the past 16 seasons.