UNC Women's Basketball to close out regular season at home vs. Duke

It's 'Senior Day' for the UNC women's basketball program on Sunday as they aim to end the 2023-2024 regular season on a strong note.

North Carolina v Virginia Tech
North Carolina v Virginia Tech / Ryan Hunt/GettyImages

We've officially reached the end of the regular season, as Courtney Banghart and the UNC women's basketball program have one more game to take care of before beginning postseason play later on this week in the ACC Tournament.

Sunday afternoon is a big day for North Carolina, as they will not only celebrate 'Senior Day' but will be matched up with rival Duke in the second meeting between the two programs this season.

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This 'Senior Day' will be special for Banghart, as the group of four seniors: Deja Kelly, Anya Poole, Alyssa Ustby and Alexandra Zelaya, were part of her first signing class as the UNC women's basketball program's head coach. This group has helped the program grow tremendously over the last four years, as it's even possible that all four could return for a fifth year in 2024-2025.

However, we'll worry about that part later: we got some basketball to play!

Key to Victory for North Carolina

In the first meeting, the UNC women's basketball program struggled in the fourth quarter and in overtime, scoring seven points in each frame en route to a loss in Durham.

The key in the rematch is to find a way to avoid long stretches of offensive struggles, something that has hurt the Tar Heels throughout the regular season.

With four capable scoring options, there's no excuse for the Tar Heels go cold. It starts with Deja Kelly, but the likes of Lexi Donarski, Maria Gakdeng and Alyssa Ustby have shown they can help carry the load offensively.

Heading into postseason play, a all-around consistent effort would be a great sight to see for this unit.

Something to Watch For

The Tar Heels lacked energy through three and a half quarters against Boston College, but ramped it up tremendously when they started to play a full-court press.

I doubt the Tar Heels will need any motivation heading into this one, but the press did have some success. Will Banghart elect to utilize it at times to try and force Duke out of rhythm?

It could definitely be a possibility.

Projected Starters

No. 0 Alexandra Zelaya (Sr. 6-4) 2.1 ppg, 1.1 rpg, 0.2 apg
No. 1 Alyssa Ustby (Sr. 6-1) 12.2 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 3.7 apg
No. 20 Lexi Donarski (Gr. 6-0) 10.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.3 apg
No. 25 Deja Kelly (Sr. 5-8) 16.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.4 apg
No. 31 Anya Poole (Sr. 6-2) 2.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 0.3 apg