On the flip side, UNC made just four threes in the game and went just 10-18 from the free throw line.
And these games are all in addition to the ACC Tournament, where Duke would have the opportunity to add a couple of more wins to its resume. For now, they still sit tied for first in the ACC, and while they have a few problems to solve, coaching isn't one of them.
Jim Sumner will be along presently with his take from Cameron.
"It sucks to be on the bench, especially with one minute left in a close game", Allen said.
Grayson Allen fouled out late in the game but led all scorers with 25 points, while Luke Kennard chipped in with 20 points. He is averaging 19.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game this season.
This will be the 77 time the two teams have met while ranked in the Associated Press poll and the143rd consecutive meeting at least one of them is ranked when facing off.
The Tar Heels will need to fix their free-throw issues sooner rather than later, as a brutal stretch awaits them through the final stretch.
The extra fire was evident as Tatum pumped his jersey and encouraged the Crazies to get loud in the second half, even after it looked like Duke was teetering with North Carolina on a 15-3 run.
"I probably was nervous, I'm not going to lie", he said. "I know every game means something, but at the same time we can't hang our heads just because it's a big rivalry and we wanted to win it not only for ourselves but our fans". The Blue Devils are now on a three-game winning streak, and here are three things that Duke must do well in order to upset the 8th-ranked Tar Heels. By then, freshman Jayson Tatum was past his rookie nerves.
Believe it or not, things got even worse for the Tar Heels after the break as the Eagles rained down a storm of three-pointers inside Carmichael Arena. Instead, the Tar Heels had to hope to get quality minutes from sophomore Luke Maye, who provided eight points but couldn't match Hicks' presence on the boards or on the defensive end. For Duke, beating UNC just means it has started to figure out what it can be, now that it has the Grayson Allen it expected all season.
Kennard and Allen did the heavy lifting for the Blue Devils, who saw only four players score a point in the opening frame.
It was only Theo Pinson's first game back from an ankle injury, which caused him to miss three games, but it is clear he should be in the starting lineup.
Hours earlier, during the North Carolina men's basketball team's shootaround, the Tar Heels (21-5, 9-3 ACC) found out Isaiah Hicks would miss the game after tweaking his hamstring the previous day.
Nearly two weeks later, Tatum exuded a wide grin as he stood at the middle of the locker room, knowing the Blue Devils are peaking and playing the way many expected them to before the season started.
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