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NCAA Basketball ACC BasketballNorth Carolina Tar Heels

North Carolina Freshman Joel James (Concussion) Will Not Play vs. Duke

Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

Ah yes, it is rivalry week in college basketball and the first match-up between Duke and North Carolina is at the forefront as usual.

On Wednesday night, the Tar Heels will make the trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium to face the Blue Devils. The first of the two meetings this season between these heated rivals certainly presents a sense of favoritism for Duke given their ranking and the youth and disappointment that North Carolina has been this season.

UNC is more than likely still headed to the NCAA Tournament this season, but this was a squad that began the season within the Top 15. North Carolina very well could have their work cut out for them on Wednesday night because Cameron Indoor will surely be rocking as usual in this rivalry showdown.

On a side note heading into Wednesday’s contest, the Tar Heels learned on Tuesday that they will be without freshman forward Joel James, who was ruled out due to a concussion.

The 6-foot-10 forward was hit in the head during a recent game against Wake Forest and a concussion ensued. Head coach Roy Williams announced the news on Tuesday after James missed his second consecutive practice.

On the season, James is averaging 2.7 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. The freshman has scored just two points in 32 minutes over the course of the past four games.

UNC and Duke will tip-off on Wednesday night at 9 p.m. Eastern. UNC is just 3-5 in true road games this season, a statistic that surely doesn’t aid their confidence heading into one of the more dangerous environments in college basketball.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS