You can't say "college basketball" without mentioning the North Carolina-Duke rivalry. Whenever these Tobacco Road rivals whose universities only stretch 9 miles apart match up against each other, you know you're going to get a nailbiting game. Especially when it's in Durham at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium in front of the Dukies, Cameron Crazies, Blue Devils, or whatever nickname of theirs you choose to use, with 4.3 GPAs screaming at the top of their lungs and acting a fool.
The bragging rights are what's at stake for these teams, and No. 17-ranked Duke beat the Tarheels in Chapel Hill by one point 74-73 two weeks ago. Now it was time for the No. 8-ranked Carolina to get their redemption. The scoring margin didn't exceed 11 points during the game. The first half was intense as expected, and Wooden Award finalist and All-American center Brice Johnson came up big per usual with 18 points and 21 rebounds. Here's an example of Johnson getting busy, catching this lob with two hands and throwing it down on the way up to the hoop:
That play would get any Tarheel fan screaming with a quick fist pump, too.
Carolina would lead most of the game, including the second half. UNC guard Marcus Paige had 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists, and starting forward Kennedy Meeks came up big for their front line boasting 12 points and 14 rebounds. Duke's best player, and tripping specialist, Grayson Allen had an impressive showing with 29 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. The Blue Devils freshman sensation Brendan Ingram had 10 points and 8 rebounds, and smooth lefty sixth man Luke Kennard had 20 points. off the bench.
Going into the final minute, Carolina had the lead by 6, and Duke cut it down to as low as 2 points off a Marshall Plumlee dunk with 5 seconds left in regulation. But the Tarheels frontcourt game were two much for Duke to handle, and Duke's Matt Jones missed a desperate 3-pointer that UNC rebounded. Marcus Paige hammered the nail in the coffin to seal UNC's victory with two free throws to close out the contest 76-72. With the victory, North Carolina officially clinches the ACC regular season title.
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