What to Watch: College and professional basketball

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No. 8 North Carolina at No. 18 Duke

The Blue Devils will welcome the Tar Heels in one of the most heated rivalries in college basketball history.

North Carolina is 9-2 in conference play so far this season, earning them the top spot in the ACC Conference. The Tar Heels will look to their junior forward, Justin Jackson, who is having an incredible season, averaging 18.6 points per game. North Carolina is coming off a win against No. 20 Notre Dame and have won nine of their last 10 games.

Duke has had a rough season, encountering a variety of different injuries, not to mention missing their coach, Mike Krzyzewski, who just returned after missing four weeks due to back surgery. Duke, looking for a resurgence this season, sits in sixth place in the ACC at 6-4 in conference play. The Blue Devils will rally behind young talent and sophomore guard Luke Kennard, who is averaging 19.8 points this season.

Catch the action at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Cameron Indoor Stadium or on ESPN.

No. 5 Oregon at No. 10 UCLA

The red-hot Oregon Ducks are headed to take on the UCLA Bruins in Pac-12 action between two top-10 teams. Oregon got the best of UCLA earlier this season in a nail biter of a game, 89-87.

Oregon is coming off an incredible outing after crushing No. 5 Arizona to take the top spot within the Pac-12 Conference. Oregon has no problem spreading the ball around, having five players averaging double-digit points per game. The Ducks have been rolling throughout the season, winning 19 of their last 20 games.

Don’t count out the Bruins who are sitting in third place within the Pac-12. UCLA also relies heavily on ball movement. They currently lead all NCAA teams with 22 assists per game. UCLA has arguably the best freshman in the game, guard Lonzo Ball, who is coming off a dominate performance, dropping 22 points, six rebounds and five assists.

The game start at 9 p.m. on Thursday on ESPN.

Golden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder

Tempers may flare in this matchup as Golden State’s Kevin Durant gets ready to return to Oklahoma City for the first time after leaving the Thunder last season.

The biggest task for the Thunder will be slowing down Durant, who is putting up phenomenal numbers this season, averaging 25.8 per game. Not to mention Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who are averaging 25.6 and 21.4 points, respectively. It’s no surprise that the Warriors have only lost eight games this season.

However, don’t sleep on the triple-double machine, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, who is currently averaging a triple-double with 31 points, 10.3 assists, and 10.4 rebounds per game. The question will be if Westbrook’s teammates can become factors in this game.

The game is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday on ABC.

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