Tar Heels, Blue Devils renew rivalry

DURHAM, N.C. - While the college basketball world eagerly awaits the Duke-North Carolina men's game on Wednesday in Chapel Hill, the 2008 version of the rivalry between the two schools tips off tonight here at Cameron Indoor Stadium between the UNC and Duke women's teams.

Not that there's any pressure on the third-ranked Tar Heels (19-2, 6-0 in the ACC) or No. 9 Blue Devils (16-5, 5-1), but for the last seven years, the team that has won the first game in the matchup has swept the season series. Carolina comes into the game as winner of 10 of its last 11, while Duke has won three of its last four, the lone loss to Tennessee.

The Tar Heels have five players averaging double figures, led by Rashanda McCants' 16 points per game. But the inside tandem of Erlana Larkins and LaToya Pringle has really given opponents fits this season.

On the Duke side, Chante Black is the leading scorer, but what might be even more important is having Abby Waner get out of her slump. The junior is shooting 33 percent from the field, and Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie -- who is getting her first taste of the rivalry tonight -- will need a big night from Waner.

Tonight marks the first meeting between these two teams since March 6, 2000 -- a span of 18 games -- in which Duke is not ranked in the top five nationally. But don't let that fool you. It's rivalry time, and this game should be a good one.

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