That certainly wasn't the prettiest Duke-UNC game you'll ever see. Get this: Duke was 3-for-28 from two-point range in the first half and still led by a point, 28-27. The Blue Devils ended up winning, 64-54.
Both sides shot badly, defended passionately and it ended up about like you thought it would, with Duke winning by 10. The game was lower-scoring than I expected, though -- the outcome reminded me of when Matt Doherty in desperation played a slowdown offense against Duke in the 2002 ACC tournament. It kept the game closer but failed to change the outcome (Duke won, 60-48).
But Roy Williams wasn't trying to slow it down -- his team just doesn't score well from the half-court offense. Mike Krzyzewski's didn't either for a large part of the game, but then Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler took over late and the Blue Devils (8-2 ACC) maintained their conference lead. UNC (2-7 in the ACC) remains in 11th place.
I was in Chapel Hill for this one and thought the Tar Heels played harder than usual, with more fight than they've shown for much of the season. That's kind of a damning statement, isn't it? But a true one. That's the sort of intensity that they always need.
Check out www.CharlotteObserver.com for more coverage of the game.
10 months ago