Roy Williams

4 Keys to a North Carolina Upset Win Over Duke

Yet another installation of the greatest rivalry in college basketball is set to kick off when UNC and Duke lock horns for the first time this season. With Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, and Cam Reddish suiting up for the Blue Devils, the Tar Heels face an uphill climb to overcome their bitter adversaries. But if they follow these four principles, they just might take down the Goliaths from Durham and score a famous victory.

4. Utilize a Deep Bench

Duke may be insanely talented, but their depth issues may come back to bite them, whereas Kenny Williams, Garrison Brooks, and Sterling Manley can all provide productive offense off the bench for the Heels. While no player they have can equal any of Duke's big three, the sum of their parts could give them the edge.

3. Let Nassir Little Take Over

This could be that signature moment for Nassir Little, who has been underutilized and occasionally marginalized during his time in Chapel Hill. If the game starts getting away from Carolina, Roy Williams needs to have the trust in his über-talented freshman to keep him in this game. With a good three point shot and penetration ability against a Duke defense that has struggled lately, expect a big game from Little. 

2. Never Lose Trust in the Three

UNC is college basketball's version of the Houston Rockets-- every shot is either a big guy near the rim or a three. With Little, point guard Coby White, and shooting guard Cameron Johnson all possessing a good shot from deep, the Tar Heels would be best served launching away from behind the arc to keep pace with Duke's elite scorers. Even if you go cold for a minute, keep firing away. 

1. Get Zion Williamson in Foul Trouble

It's pretty simple math. The less time Zion is on the court, the less time he has to score and reel off yet another highlight reel dunk. Williamson has had a problem with fouling in the last few games, reaching four in close wins against Louisville and NC State. Going right at the superstar freshman might get Zion in foul trouble early, leaving him on the bench, unable to stop a Tar Heel run.