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Duke Completely Dominates UNC In Chapel Hill, 87-67 - And It Wasn’t Anywhere Near That Close

Somewhere, Michael Jordan is crying.

Duke v North Carolina
CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 05: A.J. Griffin #21 of the Duke Blue Devils drives against Leaky Black #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the first half of their game at the Dean E. Smith Center on February 05, 2022 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

If Duke fans could have picked a script for Mike Krzyzewski’s final trip to Chapel Hill, it might have gone something like this: UNC has no official acknowledgment of Coach K’s career and their fans instead greet him with a vulgar chant. Then Duke comes out and just destroys the Tar Heels from wire to wire. Armando Bacot ends with five rebounds and UNC gets killed on the boards. UNC’s backcourt shoots 7-21. And AJ Griffin has a legend-level performance with 27 points, singlehandedly outscoring UNC’s entire perimeter.

Wait, that’s exactly what happened.

Duke blew the doors off the Dean Dome Saturday. How bad was it? This bad: the bright spot for UNC was cutting the lead to 11 points at the half.

Didn’t matter. Duke ripped off another 10 to start the second and never looked back. From start to finish, this game was a train wreck for Hubert Davis’s team.

And look at it this way: where would UNC have been if not for Brady Manek? The Oklahoma transfer let UNC at least keep Duke in sight in the first half and finished with 21, including 6-10 on threes.

But Bacot was more or less AWOL with just 12 points and five boards, Caleb Love is still mired in a slump and hit just 3-10. RJ Davis shot 4-11. And while Leaky Black concentrated on stopping Paolo Banchero, and did an admirable job, holding the future lottery pick to just 13 points, he only took four shots and UNC’s offense needed help too.

And there was no help from the bench either. Dawson Garcia is still home with his family situation, so he couldn’t help (and probably would have). UNC had no points from the bench until garbage time when Kerwin Walton got five and little-used freshmen Dontrez Styles and D’Marco Dunn both got three points each.

It was an utterly dominant performance by the Blue Devils. Griffin was the big story but he wasn’t the only factor. He didn’t shoot well but Banchero grabbed 10 boards. Wendell Moore shot 5-6 for 13 points, had eight boards, five assists and two steals. Jeremy Roach, again, had a superb floor game with four assists and one turnover. He shot 3-5 for eight points and was a key part of Duke’s brilliant defensive performance.

And then there was Mark Williams.

It’s not that Williams had a massive game statistically. It was average, maybe below his normal standards. Williams had nine points, six boards and just two blocks.

But you can’t put a price on the fear factor he put in to UNC. How many times did the Heels balk when they shot near him? Without looking, we can think of at least three and we can promise you there were a lot more than that.

We thought Duke would win and obviously Duke was favored. Did we expect 28 point leads and a final 20 point margin? No, we did not.

And keep in mind that Trevor Keels is still on his way back to full strength. He had 11 points, shot 3-6 overall and 3-4 on threes.

It was such an overwhelming performance that UNC fans were leaving in droves with a good ways to go in the second half and keep in mind that Duke did this with Keels still not 100 percent and subpar offensive performances by Williams and Banchero.

Jim will be along soon with his report from the Dean Dome. Try not to celebrate too hard: Virginia visits Monday night and that’s going to be tougher than you think.


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