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Duke and UNC recruits make their picks for Round 2 in the Battle of the Blues

Duke and North Carolina recruits expect another classic. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

Duke and North Carolina recruits expect another classic. (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

From college hoops historian to casual observer it seems everyone has an opinion on who will emerge victorious when Duke and North Carolina do battle on Tobacco Road.

Round one went to Duke, an 86-78 win at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Feb. 9.

On Saturday at 8 p.m. the greatest rivalry in sports invades Chapel Hill, N.C., and the obvious question is: Will the Tar Heels settle the score or does Duke complete the infamous sweep?

Since opinions vary we decided to catch up with every player from Duke and North Carolina’s 2017 recruiting classes and have them make predictions for the game.

Naturally, objectivity wasn’t their strong suit, so we had them come up with “crazy” scenarios in which they could see the other team winning.

The Duke Recruits

Gary Trent Jr., Prolific Prep (Napa, Calif.), SG

Who gets the win?

“My prediction for the Duke and UNC game in Chapel Hill is that it’s going to be a great and hard fought game, but Duke is going to pull out the win of course. We all know that!”

UNC wins if

“Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse can some way get back into their primes and come back and play in the game. That’s the only way!”

Wendell Carter Jr., Pace Academy (Atlanta), F

Who gets the win?

“I believe Duke will win. I’m a little biased because I’m going to the school, but I also think that Duke is becoming a great team and they’re playing well together.”

UNC wins if

“If Coach K and Coach Capel end up having to play because some of the players are stuck in a snow storm.”

Alex O’Connell, Milton (Alpharetta, Ga.), SG

Who gets the win?

“Duke will win because of the tremendous chemistry that they have built in these past few games in the ACC. They have the momentum. I know Coach K will have a great game plan going into the game to help Duke succeed. Duke players always come ready to play!”

UNC wins if

Michael Jordan comes back and goes off.”

The North Carolina recruits

Jalek Felton, Gray Collegiate (Columbia, S.C.), PG-SG

Who gets the win?

“North Carolina will win by 5-10 points. Duke got them at home, but now our players and staff will be more prepared because we’ll know how everyone plays and what everyone is going to do. I think we’ll have guys step up and make shots; we’re at home so that always helps. That’s worth an extra five points at least and that’ll probably be the five that we’ll win by.”

Duke wins if

“Honestly, we’d have to really be off for me to see us losing this game. We’d have to play really, really horrible. I mean we’re at home in front of our fans; we’d have to be really off for us to lose. Look at what we did to Virginia at our place. It’s tough when you come to us.”

Brandon Huffman, Word of God Christian Academy (Raleigh, N.C.), F

Who gets the win?

“Of course North Carolina. Last game we threw it away, just missing free throws and things like that. I think we’ve taken the steps to make sure that doesn’t happen again. I know that everything we failed to do in that last game we’ll make sure we don’t do this time. It’s easier because it was all self-inflicted. I’m confident in my team.”

Duke wins if

“Our whole team, coaching staff and fans don’t show up. That’s the only way.”

Sterling Manley, Pickerington (Pickerington, Ohio), C

Who gets the win?

“You know who I have winning the game and the reason why is because (Kennedy) Meeks and (Isaiah) Hicks are going to have big games!”

Duke wins if

“North Carolina cancels their basketball program.”

Andrew Platek, Northfield Mount Hermon (Northfield, Mass.), SG

Who gets the win?

Well, of course the Heels are going to get the W this time around. The Dean Dome is going to be rocking, and the guys are gonna play with an extra chip on their shoulder; especially after their last meeting in Cameron. It will also be big having Isaiah (Hicks) back on the inside where he can score and add more rebounding, which was an area of improvement since their last meeting. I think the guys are clicking right now, Justin (Jackson) and Joel (Berry) are playing at a really high level and leading this team to a great place. Losing Kenny (Williams) hurts a lot, especially defensively, but Theo (Pinson) is getting more comfortable returning from his injuries. It should be a good one, but I fully expect the Heels to pull it out in Chapel Hill.”

Duke wins if

“Someone could mimic Austin Rivers and hit that shot. Hopefully, it won’t be that close.”

 

Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY