Duke and UNC started with a familiar pattern: one team shot out to an early lead based on emotion only to see the other surge back.
In this case, UNC started with a 5-0 lead while Duke started 1-5 from the floor before things began to click.
Kyle Filipowski had a dominant half with nine points and nine rebounds though he shot just 3-9 in the opening period.
Mark Mitchell played very well early, getting into the lane repeatedly. However, Dereck Lively picked up two fouls which limited his minutes.
Foul trouble hit both sides, with Armando Bacot picking up a pair and Pete Nance picking up three early. It wasn’t a foul, but Puff Johnson injured an ankle with 13:00 left.
All of this forced UNC’s Hubert Davis to go to his bench much more than he typically does, sending 12 players out before halftime. Two of them were courtesy senior starts, but still, it’s a big difference from his normal M.O.
Duke took a 33-31 lead to the half and after the break, things got more intense.
This was never going to be a pretty game, but it was a gutty game on both sides and both teams played all-out on defense.
But UNC got a major boost when it held Duke scoreless from 14:03-9:36. Duke’s troubles were compounded by Dereck Lively and Dariq Whitehead picking up their respective fourth foul.
Duke returned the favor though, keeping UNC from scoring a basket for the last 4:20.
And as it so often does in this rivalry, the game came down to the last few seconds. Duke took a 58-57 lead on two Filipowski free throws with 1:38 left. Jeremy Roach then wove through the lane for a layup with :50 to go to give Duke a 60-57 lead.
RJ Davis missed a layup and Mitchell got the board. Filipowski went back to the line and missed the front of a 1 and 1 with :19 left but the Heels came back down and Caleb Love (naturally) fired off a three. That missed and Duke got the ball out to Filipowski, who hit a layup to give Duke a 62-57 win.
It wasn’t a beautiful game, as noted, but it was sweet: Duke won its sixth straight to move to 23-8 and also may have made it difficult for UNC to make the NCAA field, which isn’t bad for a secondary benefit.
Both teams defended very well - UNC shot just 30.4 percent to Duke’s 37.9. UNC had eight assists and limited Duke to just four. Rebounding was dead even with 29 defensive and 10 offensive for both sides.
For Duke, Filipowski was superb with 22 points and 13 rebounds. No one shot particularly well, but Filipowski and Roach carried Duke down the stretch.
With the win, Duke also finishes tied for third place with Pitt and gets the tiebreaker, waiting for Clemson to finish up. The Devils get a double-bye in Greensboro, which could also be very helpful.
We’re not sure about this, but Jon Scheyer might be the first rookie Duke coach to sweep UNC in the regular season.
We’ll have more soon.
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- How Duke basketball held off UNC for 6th straight win
- What’s wrong with the Tar Heels? Much of it was on display in another loss to Duke
- UNC basketball on cusp of missing NCAA tournament after home loss to rival Duke
- UNC Men’s Basketball Falls to Duke on Senior Night; ACC Tournament Now Must-Win
- UNC on NCAA Tournament bubble: What Tar Heels must do in ACC Tournament to help secure March Madness bid
- ACC men’s basketball roundup: Duke deals UNC costly loss; Miami earns No. 1 seed
- SWEEP: Filipowski, Duke men’s basketball take thrilling regular-season finale at North Carolina
- 5 observations from Duke men’s basketball’s first half against North Carolina
- Duke basketball holds off UNC in thrilling ACC regular-season finale, sweeps season series
- MBB: Filipowski’s 22-Point Double-Double Helps Duke Sweep North Carolina, 62-57
- BOX SCORE (PDF)
- POSTGAME NOTES (PDF)
- COACH SCHEYER QUOTES (PDF)
- PHOTO GALLERY