North Carolina defeats Duke 82-78

Johnson, a graduate transfer from Pittsburgh playing in his first Duke rivalry game, concurred. "A deep shot is most likely going to be a far rebound". Totals: 23-66 11-14 62. He not only hit four of North Carolina's 11 threes, effectively taking advantage of the reluctance of Duke's bigs to step away from the rim, but he also grabbed six of their 20 offensive rebounds.

The Tar Heels and Blue Devils will face off again on March 3 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham.

"Me and Joel (Berry) talked about it before the game".

North Carolina did enter the night leading the nation in rebounding margin, but it's still hard to believe this group of guys out-rebounded that group of guys. Despite Maye's success as a reserve, few thought the Huntersville, N.C. native could feature as an offensive centerpiece.

Duke had won four of its past six trips here and seven of the past 10 games in the series, so odds were that streak wasn't going to go on forever. "The big story was their offensive rebounding". While the team's efficiency has fluctuated - 1.01 points per possession, good for 10th in the ACC - that won't stop them from running.

But in the locker room after Thursday's loss to North Carolina, the normally stoic big man had a towel over his head and stared into his lap. "Everybody did a good job of getting in and helping the bigs rebound". No other Panther made more than two shots. -Wise (10-13, 8-9 MEC) earned a second straight win with a victory over the Fighting Falcons (17-6, 13-4).

The teams split the previous 100 meetings, though North Carolina's series lead is now 136-110.

ESPN gives Duke a more than 64 percent chance to win the game.

. During an 11-game stretch between the Tar Heels' shocking home loss to Wofford on December 20 and their win Saturday over Pitt, Williams averaged only 8.5 points on 38.6% shooting-including 25.5% from three-point range-in 30.8 minutes per game.

"I always knew that I could play at this level, and a lot of people did not think I could", Maye said, adding: "I definitely have made some small remarks to some people that I probably should've kept to myself". A collision between the two top offenses in the ACC, fueled by likely all-conference honorees and projected National Basketball Association draft picks, produced a predictable result: lots of points.

It's especially concerning that Duke couldn't muster a 40-minute effort days after Krzyzewski called out his team for its sluggish performance in a loss to St. John's.

That first half was insane. Trevon Duval leads the ACC in assists (6.0), while Grayson Allen is fifth in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4).

The difference in execution was apparent in Duke's frequent defensive lapses.

The Blue Devils should use this as a reminder that talent alone isn't enough. "We can't continue to lose games like this".

"We've got to figure out something", star freshman Marvin Bagley III said. Duke have similarly struggled against the spread this season, but they've been dealing with larger spreads for most of the season. For all their problems on defense, they have still overwhelmed most opponents through a combination of size, athleticism, and superior coaching.

After one half of play, the Blue Devils lead the Tar Heels, 49-45.

Intensity should not be an issue at a packed Dean E. Smith Center on Thursday night.

"Coming to UNC to play in an atmosphere like this ... honestly, there's nothing like it", Johnson said.

Tonight is round one of the "Battle of the Blues" between Duke and UNC.

It's not conventional Tar Heels basketball by any stretch of the imagination. Duke looked like the dominant team at the outset, scoring nearly at will.

  • Julie Sanders