Asking the Tar Heels how they lost to Georgia Tech

Duke was starting to struggle a bit as the regular season came to a close.

The No. 5 seed Blue Devils, ranked 14th nationally, are 26-8 this season. They must also limit at least one of, if not both Luke Kennard and Jayson Tatum. Murphy leads in rebounds with 7.6 while Newton tops in assists with 3.5 per game.

Friday night, Krzyzewski acknowledged that Allen had regained his timing and rhythm-just in time: "If he doesn't do what he does in the first half, we're down by 20", Krzyzewski said.

So what happened in the game? Part of that comes with a couple of strong games from Grayson Allen, who appeared to be in a funk in the tournament opener, and a boost from freshman reserve Harry Giles. The junior shot 4-for-5 from downtown and did a lot of it off screens from Amile Jefferson.

It seems like the Blue Devils are already there heading into Saturday night's ACC championship game-that's a scary thought for the rest of the college basketball world.

North Carolina: Fell short in its attempt to become the first team to repeat as ACC Tournament champion since Duke (2009-11).

The obvious explanation for No. 1 seed North Carolina's collapse against Duke on Friday night was a whistle blown with 15:04 to play, which signaled Joel Berry's fourth foul and the beginning of a 10-minute, six-second residence on the bench. We wasted some time in the backcourt getting it down. Without him, UNC couldn't get anything to go their way. I like Duke. I like the way Mike Krzyzewski coaches and the way his players play and the manner in which he fashions his team around his talent.

Not all was bad for UNC though.

So when Duke and Carolina both won Thursday, it brought a true taste of Tobacco Road to the home of Nathan's Famous hot dogs, smack in the middle of the bustling borough that hosted baseball's most passionate regional rivalries once upon a time: Giants-Dodgers, and Yankees-Dodgers.

The Tar Heels were lethally efficient in the first half, shooting 55.6 percent and averaging 1.32 points per possession to take a 49-42 lead into the break. The Blue Devils are trying to win it for the first time since 2011. Duke may want to force the Heels to play from beyond the arc, as well as try to slow down a team that loves to get up and down the court and averages 85.2 points per game.

"We shot 56 percent in the first half and 28 in the second half". UNC crumbled without their point guard. That includes a 29-14 stint with Berry on the bench. The Tar Heels had won their last five semifinal games. "But lefties are hitting about.330 off him, so that's why we kept them in there".

Just like it did against Louisville, Duke put on a furious rally to win an ACC Tournament game.

Meeks and Hicks led the Tar Heels with 19 points.

Duke, seeded fifth in the tournament, went on to a 93-83 victory over the top-seeded Tar Heels.

So head coach Roy Williams pointed at Nate Britt to check in. He missed the first month of Duke's season after needing arthroscopic surgery to fix the other knee, which had suffered a torn ACL two years earlier.

  • Larry Hoffman