Duke 71-North Carolina 70
How fitting of an ending. After watching 39:56 of the game……the biggest moment of the game…..Carolina turned it over. With 18 seconds left in the game…..Duke’s JJ Reddick’s 3-point shot sailed out of bounds and UNC had that much time to get a shot off to win the game. Eighteen seconds.
Last spring, I watched Derek Fisher get a shot off in 0.4 seconds. UNC couldn’t with 45 times as many ticks.
I could swallow it better if we missed a shot. McCants for three….May with a turnaround….Felton with a floater. None of those things happened. Instead, Felton….who had a lane open up for him with about 9 seconds left but didn’t take it….picked up his dribble, tossed a bad pass to Noel [what was he doing in the game anyways?], and Noel dribbled it out of bounds. That makes you sick. To play that well defensively down the stretch to even put yourself in that position…..and you turn it over in that fashion.
Uh...that guy with the glasses is a student?? Or maybe just a plant? FAC-UL-TY!!!! FAC-UL-TY!!!
Why not? The Tar Heels turned it over 23 times in the game…and the top assist team in the nation dished out only 10. TEN! The possession before the infamous final one, Marvin Williams had a path to the basket and instead threw a pass at Sean May’s feet. Felton uncharacteristically looked shaky. Jawad Williams acted like this was his first trip to Cameron.
Raymond Felton, the guy who intiated the final miscue, had EIGHT turnovers. In now three career games as UNC coach against Duke....coach Roy Williams is 0-3. Those losses were by a combined 8 points.
A Carolina point guard and the ball are easily departed
With just over 5 minutes left, Duke held momentum and a 67-58 lead. Carolina made a valiant 12-4 run to end the game….but it still left them one point behind. Enter the turnover.
Interesting stats of the game. North Carolina made 25 shots while Duke made only 20. North Carolina shoots 48%?.while Duke shoots 38%. So how did they win?? Duke shot 21-for-22 from the FT line and shot 10-for-23 from behind the arc [UNC made 17 free throws and three 3-pters]. The oddest stat is the one where Duke made only ONE TWO-POINT SHOT in the second half. Amazing.
So #2 North Carolina loses for the second time on the Tobacco Road. A month ago, the Heels were downed in Winston-Salem against Wake Forest. That is a pretty bad sign. Their two toughest road tests, in reality their only tough road tests, they lost. And both were to the teams they are fighting with to win the ACC regular season title. They have a non-conference game in Connecticut, before two winnable games at home against Virginia and Clemson. They then go TO NC State and TO Maryland. A week later?..Duke again.
This was an equally huge win for Duke. They, too, have lost in Winston-Salem?and a home loss to UNC would really put them behind the 8-ball. They?d be 2 full games behind for first and pretty much MUST win the game against Wake in Durham and then go into Carolina and win. Also, they head into a stretch which sees them on the road for 4 of their next 5.?the only home game is against Wake.?including a Saturday date with Maryland [the lone team to beat Duke in Durham this year] in College Park. After all of that?a home game with Miami then at Carolina.
BLUE DEVIL OF THE GAME: Daniel Ewing. While Sheldon Williams set the tempo early with his blocked shots?.it was Ewing that made Duke go in three phases. One, he stuck with Raymond Felton, not giving him a ton of space to make plays in the half court or in the open court. Two, he scored 15 points?including three huge 3-pters. Third, and most importantly, he wisely controlled the tempo. Carolina cannot score 92 points when they don?t get as many possessions as they are accustomed to.
TAR HEEL OF THE GAME: Sean May. May sure steps up in these big games. He scored 23 points and nabbed 19 rebounds. He seemedto be the only Tar Heel in a consistent flow all game long and amazing that no one on the court saw that.
BLUE DEVIL NOT IN THE GAME: Shavlik Randolph. It wasn?t a real good game for the forwards in this game. Randolph, who's parents went to UNC and grandfather starred at NC State, scored 4 pts on just 1-of-4 shooting.
TAR HEEL NOT IN THE GAME: Rashad McCants. Randolph?s counterman Jawad Williams should getthis honor?.but he?s not played well of late and Marvin Williams has been getting more of his minutes. But, McCants cannot shoot 3-of-14 [1-7 from behind the arc] for just 11 points. A scorer of his stature just can?t get to the line a mere 4 times. McCants, again, saves his worst games for the biggest times.
FRESHMAN OF THE GAME: DeMarcus Nelson. Theguy was solid. He scored 16 points....made all 4 of his FTs and both of his 3-pt shots.