UNC clinches the ACC regular season title topping Duke 88-70. The Tar Heels were on fire as soon as the opening whistle blew and were up 22-5 before anyone knew what had happened. UNC who came into the game #6 in the nation never let up and went in at half-time 48-24. That’s one hell of a beat down for Duke to come to grips with being ranked #3 in the nation and about ready to head into both the ACC and NCAA tournaments.
UNC didn’t forget the comeback Duke pulled off back on Feb. 8th in Chapel Hill against the Tar Heels, where the Blue Devils came from 10 down in the final 3 minutes to pull off the win. No such last second heroics were possible this time around as North Caroline made sure to keep their intensity high throughout.
The scoring attack for UNC was lead by Kendall Marshall who ended the night with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Marshall stated after the game “I felt dissed.” Before the game began Duke played the highlights of the Blue Devils’ last second heroics against UNC from earlier in the year. Marshall took this as an opportunity to gather his teammates together and point out how disrespectful he felt this one. Whatever the cause, UNC played pissed off and it worked.
It’s none of my business, but if I was in charge of the video scoreboard for Duke I might save the highlight clips for ESPN and stick to the game stats. Then again, maybe UNC should play the clips that get them all fired-up every morning in March and see if they end up with a championship when it’s all said and done.
The Blue Devils were out paced pretty much across the board. They only shot 41% from the field, 28% beyond the arc, and 58% from the charity stripe. These aren’t exactly the type of numbers usually associated with the #3 team in the nation. This wasn’t just a loss. This was a thrashing and the most embarrassing point about it for Duke was that it took place in their coveted Cameron arena. Plumlee did all he could for Duke mustering 17 points and 11 rebounds, but the backcourt of Duke was simply out played. Duke will need a more balanced approach and disciplined offensive attack if they hope to avenge UNC come tourney time.
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