The North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils renew their rivalry on Saturday night for the first time in the 2023-24 season. With North Carolina being atop the Atlantic Coast Conference standings, Duke is right behind them just 1.5 games out.
But it won’t be just the ACC race that’s in the spotlight as No. 1 seeding in the NCAA Tournament could be on the line as well.
We still have over a month to go until Selection Sunday but this is a big opportunity for both teams to get a Quad 1 win and boost their resume early on. While it won’t be the deciding factor, getting a win like this on the resume could prove pivotal down the stretch.
Going into this game, North Carolina currently holds the fourth No. 1 seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology projections. Meanwhile, Duke is a No. 3 seed and the No. 11 team overall in the bracket projections.
A loss for UNC probably drops them off the No. 1 line for the time being with Wisconsin, Tennessee and Arizona lurking. A win would keep them there and potentially move them up.
It’s not do-or-die but this game is an important one for the entire outlook of the season.