ACC Basketball: Monday Preview

Tuesday is the busiest night of the week for college basketball around the ACC, but we have two games featuring top 15 teams to hold us over on Monday. The seventh-ranked Tar Heels of North Carolina ready themselves for a match-up with UNC Greensboro, while 15th-ranked Duke takes on Elon down the road at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Here’s the full preview of both games.


UNC Greensboro (4-8) Vs. #7 North Carolina (10-2), 6:00 PM ET on ESPNU

Game Notes

  • UNC Greensboro is coming off arguably their strongest effort of the season defensively last Tuesday, as they held NC State to just 40% shooting in their six-point road loss to the Wolfpack.
  • North Carolina is still without junior forward Kennedy Meeks, who continues to nurse a bone bruise in his left knee. In his absence, Brice Johnson and Justin Jackson have picked up much of the slack. The duo have combined for 29.7 points and 13.7 rebounds per game so far this season.


UNC Greensboro played well defensively against a cold-shooting shooting NC State squad before the Christmas holiday. Unfortunately for the Spartans, North Carolina poses multiple, and more importantly, consistent, scoring threats in the paint and on the perimeter, which makes this a more difficult challenge for them on Monday evening.

Because of North Carolina’s balanced scoring with Brice Johnson and Justin Jackson, along with the veteran leadership of point guard Marcus Paige (who is a game-time decision with a sore ankle), the ‘Heels are poised to pull away in the second half to beat UNC Greensboro at the Dean Dome.

North Carolina 82  UNC Greensboro 66


Elon (9-3) Vs. #15 Duke (9-2), 8:00 PM ET on ESPNU

Game Notes

  • Duke will once again be without senior forward Amile Jefferson, who is sidelined for the next six to eight weeks with a fractured foot. The Blue Devils missed his presence on the inside in Saturday’s overtime loss to Utah, where they were out-rebounded by the Utes 56-38, while shooting a season-worst 30% from the floor. With a lack of proven players in the frontcourt, the play of Marshall Plumlee and Chase Jeter will be particularly interesting to watch this evening, as well as in conference play over the next several weeks.
  • Elon lives and dies by the three-point shot, as they have made 129 of them through 12 games this season. The Blue Devils will be playing a mix of man-to-man and match-up zone, and will need to be at the top of their game on that side of the court in order to prevent an unlikely upset.


Duke has more talent on the perimeter, but they could be in a tight game late with the Phoenix if they allow them to make a reasonable amount of three-point attempts this evening. As a team, Elon is only making around 35% of their shots from beyond the arc, but the clip in which they shoot those three-pointers makes them a team that is extremely dangerous should they get hot.

Tonight, I think that Duke will rely heavily upon 6’8″ freshman wing, Brandon Ingram, who has been a match-up nightmare for opposing defenses this season. Over his last four games, Ingram is averaging 22 points and 8.3 assists per game, as he appears to be settling in comfortably to the speed of the game at the collegiate level. I expect him to have a big night on offense to supplement a strong team-defensive effort en route to another home victory.

Duke 85    Elon 70


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