North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils Free Picks 2/9/11

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There aren't two rivals in the college basketball betting world that hate each other more than the Duke Blue Devils and the North Carolina Tar Heels. These two teams will renew their ties on Wednesday night on Tobacco Road, as the Dookies try to get back on the No. 1 line for the NCAA Tournament.

Matchup: North Carolina Tar Heels @ Duke Blue Devils
Date: Wednesday, February 9th, 9:00 ET
Location: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC

Tar Heels Notes: The Tar Heels are back in the Top 25, and Head Coach Roy Williams has to wonder if he has really gotten his team back to a level in which it can compete for the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament. Of course, we can't get all that excited about North Carolina due to the fact that it was only last year that the team had to go on the road to win games in the NIT. Playing without Larry Drew II is going to be interesting in this one. Though he was demoted out of the starting lineup, he was definitely the experienced ball handler that knows how to deal with the Cameron Crazies. Even though Drew is gone, the Heels are certainly rolling. They are 5-0 SU and ATS since getting blown away by 20 points by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on the road. The offense has averaged 85.6 points per game in that stretch, one of the best marks in the conference and in the country. We can't ignore the play of Harrison Barnes. The freshman phenom was supposed to bring UNC to the next level, and perhaps he is about to start doing that. He has scored a total of 49 points in his last two duels to lead the Tar Heels. Still, Barnes is the second leading scorer on the team, averaging just 13.3 points per game. Tyler Zeller has been a constant all season long. He is averaging 14.1 points per game on the campaign, and though this isn't what was expected this year, it is more points than he has scored in total over the course of the last two years combined.

Blue Devils Notes: The Blue Devils are still dominating the ACC this year, as they only have that one loss on the road to the Florida State Seminoles and the aberration against the St. John's Red Storm at Madison Square Garden. Duke is really an offense juggernaut this year once again, the same way that it was last year when it made its epic run to the National Championship. Things just haven't looked the same over the course of the last nine games though, as the Dookies are averaging "just" 77.9 points per game in that stretch. Without Kyrie Irving, who is still nursing his toe injury, Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith are leading the way. Smith is averaging 21.0 points per game this year, and he has really come a long way to help keep this team in the Top 5 in the country. Singler's shooting percentage is a tad down at 44.6 percent this year, but he is getting the job done overall at 18.0 points per game. The defense is fantastic as well for Coach K as always. His team is conceding 64.6 points per game this year, and opponents are only shooting 40.5 percent from the floor. Keep an eye on Mason Plumlee as well, who has back to back double-doubles against some of the best big men in the ACC.

The Final Word: North Carolina is going to be in a world of hurt in this one. Drew's numbers weren't all that great this year, but these guards are really going to be up against it in baby blue. The Dookies should be able to romp to a double digit victory in front of the hometown crowd, especially after romping to a 32 point win in this fixture last season.

Free College Basketball Picks: Duke Blue Devils

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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