North Carolina (17-6, 5-4 ACC) has performed well against ranked opponents this season, bringing a 4-2 record into Monday's contest against top 25 opponents. The Tar Heels will look to snap a couple of streaks against its local neighbor, having lost its last three games this year, and seven games in a row to the Blue Devils.
Duke (22-2, 9-1) won the last meeting in the ACC tournament title game, 92-73, on March 10, 2013. However, Carolina still owns a 47-39 edge in the all-time series.
Last time out, Georgia Tech pulled a 94-91 upset of the Tar Heels last Thursday in Atlanta. Freshman sensation Diamond DeShields had a game-high 22 points in a homecoming game for the Norcross, Ga., product. Fellow Georgia native Allisha Gray shined as well that night, notching 20 points and 11 rebounds for the third double-double of her rookie campaign.
Junior Danielle Butts came off the bench to score a career-high 20 points, and is averaging 16.5 points and 5.5 rebounds over the last two games for the Tar Heels.
Defense will be a key Monday in searching for Carolina's first victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium since 2008. The Tar Heels rank second nationally with 12.8 steals outing, and lead the ACC in field goal percentage defense, limiting its opponents to 34.9 percent from the field.
Carolina's offense also is highly touted, ranking 13th nationally at 83.9 points per game, the third best mark in the ACC. The Tar Heels have reach 90 points in seven games this year, reached triple digits on four occasions and set a school record with 124 points against New Orleans back in December.
DeShields, the only first-year player listed on the Wooden Award Midseason Top 20 list, has been outstanding in conference play, scoring at 19.3 ppg, the top figure for all freshman in the ACC. She has reached the 20-point plateau in five of nine league contests.
North Carolina returns home to host its annual Play 4 Kay game against Pittsburgh on Thursday night at 6 p.m., on ESPN3. All cancer survivors can gain free access to the game and bring guests along at 1/2 price ($5) by purchasing tickets in advance at GoHeels.com using the promo code - WB14-BC).
It's also another "Throwback Thursday" game with 250 retro pink t-shirts available to students in attendance. Concessions are also 1/2 price, including Papa John's pizza.
United Healthcare will be distributing pink poms in the lobby for fans. A pink fire truck will be parked on South Rd. outside Carmichael Arena.