Time to resume the Battle for Tobacco Road. Here's some reading material to get you through until 9pm EST.
- Looks like Joel James will miss the game with a concussion, which THB translates as "UNC will have 5 fewer fouls to throw at Mason Plumlee"
- Bret Stretlow of Fayetteville Observer says Marcus Paige has to step up and play big to make the Duke game must-see TV.
- The Greensboro News & Record looks at the relatively limited sample size that is an unranked Carolina team playing in Cameron against a ranked Duke team.
- Inside Carolina looks at what it will take to defend Mason Plumlee and the rest of Duke's post players.
- Duke and UNC recruits make their picks for tonight's game in USA Today. They seem to already have the spirit of the rivalry down, complete with callbacks to former players and all.
- Tobacco Road Blues revisits last year's Austin Rivers game-winner written in the style of David Foster Wallace (footnotes and all).
- Adam Lucas at GoHeels.com documents UNC's struggles on the road this year, spotting the common factor of opponents making one big run that Carolina just couldn't seem to stem.
- Stretlow again with nice piece on Quinn Cook's bond with former Devils PG Nolan Smith. Smith almost skipped a Duke-UNC tilt 5 years ago to attend Cook's dad's funeral, apparently - good read.
- Busting Brackets notes that Carolina brings a particularly Duke-like team into Cameron this year.
- Mike Lopresti checks in with Dean Smith, who continues to struggle with a fading memory.
- Andrew Jones makes the case for Duke-UNC as America's best sports rivalry over at Fox Sports.
- Tar Heel Monthly compiles the various current projections for where UNC could land in the NCAA tournament. Consensus seems to be an 11-seed, although one bracketologist is clearly trolling the fan base as he puts Carolina in as an 9-seed facing off against... 8-seed UCLA.
- The annual game between Duke and Carolina's basketball managers was held this week in Cameron, and the Devils must have drawn some inspiration from Austin Rivers last year because they pulled out the 55-52 win on a buzzer-beating 3, which Duke Blue Planet captured in the video below. I know there's been quite the excess of court-storming this year, but when it's basically just your friends and a few dedicated fans in the gym, and this is probably the apex of your athletic career, I think it's a worthy moment. We'll give it the BvB seal of approval.