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Ahhhhh.....Seeeya! Coach K’s Final Trip To Chapel Hill Is A Memorable One

As the Blue Devils lead from wire to wire and utterly dominate UNC in Mike Krzyzewski’s farewell

Duke v North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 05: Paolo Banchero #5 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after making a three-point shot against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second half of their game at the Dean E. Smith Center on February 05, 2022 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Duke won 87-67.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Mike Krzyzewski made his last business trip to Chapel Hill Saturday night and his presentation was quite successful.

There’s a good chance we won’t see Duke’s 87-67 demolition of North Carolina on any Great Duke-Carolina-Games-reprises-20 years from now.

Duke simply jumped all over North Carolina from the word go and never really let up, shaking off a late-first half Carolina rally that cut an early 31-8 Duke lead to 39-28 at the half. A.J. Griffin scored the first 10 points of the second half and the Tar Heels never got any closer than 16 points, with Duke’s biggest lead at 87-59.

None of the things Duke fans were worried about happened. Duke outrebounded the Tar Heels 40-24 and allowed only eight transition points, while holding Armando Bacot to 12 points and five rebounds.

Carolina got two second-chance points. Two.

The Tar Heels never led and it was tied only a few seconds, until Paolo Banchero put Duke up 2-0 and then Griffin made it 5-0 and then Banchero made it 8-2 and an old-fashioned three-point play by Mark Williams made it 11-2 and then Griffin made it 13-2.

This was in the first three minutes. Well, three minutes and seven seconds.

“That was huge for us,” Wendell Moore, Jr. said,” to impose our will on the game.”

Duke made seven of its first eight shots from the field.

“Seeing a few shots go in gave us all confidence” Moore said. But he also cited Duke’s defense, the one that held Carolina to one shot and contested most of those shots.

Duke got a little sloppy late in the first half, including an inexplicable 10-second violation against a team that wasn’t pressing. And whatever Duke was trying against Brady Manek, it was not working. The 6-9 grad-student transfer from Oklahoma hit 4 of 7 from beyond the arc in the opening half. But no other Tar Heel had more than six points in the first half, while Griffin (13) and Moore (11) led Duke.

Duke got a final stop to keep the lead at 11 points going into halftime and Krzyzewski said that was a key.

His half-time message?

“We won the first 12 minutes and they won the last eight. I told them if they started the first four minutes like they played the last eight, they were going to win.”

Griffin made sure that didn’t happen, an astonishing 2:37 stretch in which he buried a couple of 3s, hit a couple of twos and gave Duke the separation it rode to the end.

An unflappable Griffin said he was just “making reads.”

Reads that according to Moore put Griffin at “a different level.”

Griffin noted that the more he plays the stronger he gets and Moore says we haven’t seen anything yet from Griffin.

And as Krzyzewski noted you don’t get a 10-0 run without getting some stops along the way.

Krzyzewski went to great lengths this week to downplay his last trip to the Smith Center.

His team wasn’t buying it.

“We wanted to send him out with a win because he deserved it,” Moore said.

Griffin ended with 27 points, hitting 11 of 17 from the field, 3 of 6 from beyond the arc. Moore added 13 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and zero turnovers. Banchero struggled with his shot, missing 9 of 14 but grabbed 10 rebounds, 9 on the defensive boards. Trevor Keels hit three triples and had 11 points, Jeremy Roach had another solid game—8 points, 4 assists, 1 turnover and Mark Williams’ stat line doesn’t begin to suggest his value in keeping Bacot in check.

Manek ended up with 21 for Carolina, who lost their first home game.

Moore said Duke wasn’t surprised at the dominance.

“We felt like if we played our game, we had a chance to dominate these guys.”

And that Carolina crowd?

“We love being the villain.”

Duke is in control of the ACC race but Virginia looms in 48 hours and Moore said Duke will enjoy the win until they get off the bus in Durham.

Work to be done.


Player Of The Game vs. UNC

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Wendell Moore
    (20 votes)
  • 94%
    AJ Griffin
    (1030 votes)
  • 0%
    Paolo Banchero
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    Mark Williams
    (17 votes)
  • 0%
    Jeremy Roach
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Joey Baker
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Theo John
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Bates Jones
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Trevor Keels
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Jaylen Blakes
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    Michael Savarino
    (14 votes)
1091 votes total Vote Now