3 Key Duke vs UNC Matchups That Will Determine the ACC Champion

What are the most important individual matchups as Duke and UNC battle it out in the final game of the season?
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Here we go again: a Duke-UNC matchup to determine the ACC regular season champion. On Saturday, the Blue Devils and the Tar Heels will battle it out at Cameron Indoor Stadium in the final game of the regular season. If North Carolina wins, they will be the outright champions for the first time since 2017. If Duke takes care of business at home, then they split the title.

This surely will be a battle for the ages as both teams are surging and ranked in the top ten. Duke is 8-1 since they lost to North Carolina on February 3, and the Tar Heels have won five straight. Duke will have revenge on their minds as they make their case for a top-two seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Here are three matchups to keep an eye out for on Saturday.

Armando Bacot vs. Kyle Filipowski

Bacot was the more effective big man in the prior matchup as he dominated the game with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists on 10/13 shooting from the field. The senior center physically overwhelmed Filipowski with his strength and athleticism. Filip ended up scoring 22 points but most of that came when the game was already out of reach.

Filipowski can struggle with physicality and has a tendency to get himself in foul trouble. He finished the previous UNC game with four fouls. Their sophomore star has to stay out of foul trouble, hit shots, and match Bacot in the interior for Duke to have a chance.

It is of utmost importance that Filipowski starts hitting his perimeter shots. The 7-footer hasn't made more than one three-pointer in any of his last four games. He has to increase his volume and maintain his accuracy (%35.4 from three this season) to stretch the floor and get Bacot to guard on the perimeter more.