NCAA Preview: UNC goes to Durham

Alex Urquhart

The North Carolina Tar Heels are making their way to Durham to take on the Duke Blue Devils. This is one of the biggest rivalries in college sports. There is only, roughly, 10 miles between the two campuses and that has sparked one of the greatest bubbles of animosity between two schools, just look at college basketball when these two play each other. Now lacrosse is a bit of a side sport at the moment down in the state of North Carolina due to March Madness ramping up, but games between UNC and Duke always draw well and it is always loud and rambunctious.
Going into the afternoon game the Blue Devils are 5-2 on the year with loses to #1 Maryland and #2 Loyola (MD). With those two loses the Blue Devils are ranked at #4 behind Johns Hopkins. The Blue Devils are being lead this year by two Senior Attackmen Jordan Wolf and Josh Dionne. Wolf leads the team in points with 31 points (19 G, 12A) whereas Dionne comes up second in points with 19 points (15 G, 4A). The Blue Devils have been riding young Sophomore Goalie Luke Aaron, who has played in parts, and started, in every game this year. Aaron also has a save percentage of 55.5 percent, which is actually outstanding when you look at the teams he has gone up against is really impressive.
The Tar Heels from Chapel Hill are ranked at #5, right behind the Blue Devils. The Tar Heels this season are 5-1 on the season, with a blip lose to #12 Notre Dame. The Tar Heels are lead by a talented group of Attackmen that includes Joey Sankey and Jimmy Bitter. Sankey leads the team in points with 25 points (14G, 11A), while Bitter has 19 points (11G, 8A). The Tar Heels are also leaning on Sophomore Goalie Kiernan Burke, who has a saves percentage of 58.3 percent. Burke is without a doubt a contender for goalie of the year, and saying a lot this year with Niko Amato at Maryland, Austin Kaut at Penn St., and Brian Feeney at Penn.
This game could easily be a game where both teams hit the mid to high teens on the scoreboard. These two offenses are two very impressive offenses, UNC sits at 16.20 goals per game, while Duke only sits at 11 goals per game. Although Duke is low on the goals per game, they have the ability with Wolf and Dionne to go big and go very big. This game is the one game to watch at a national stage due to the implication it will have on the ACC standings come later this spring.
The game will be at 2pm EST and can be seen on ESPNU or ESPN3.