|Posted on March 9, 2018 at 11:45 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
The Forever Rivals were back at it again, this time in the 2018 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) men's basketball tournament semifinals in Brooklyn, New York.
This time, the North Carolina Tar Heels were a 6th-seed and the Duke Blue Devils the 2nd-seed.
Duke came out cold, not attaining their first field goal under the 14:49 mark of the first half, off of a jumper by freshman guard Gary Trent, Jr., placing them seven points behind North Carolina at 10-3.
Seven minutes into the game, the Tar Heels had a 13-point advantage, 16-3.
The Blue Devils would not have another field goal until the 9:54 mark, a span of almost five minutes without a made shot. True freshman forward Marvin Bagley, III, was the one to end the drought, off of a dunk that placed Duke at an 18-9 deficit.
Including this dunk, the Blue Devils would go on a 7-0 to close the gap to four, down 18-14.
Senior guard Grayson Allen would cut the Tar Heels lead to three, 20-17, off of a make from beyond the arc with 7:02 left in the first half.
He would also have another one of his "involuntary spasms" in the form of a "booty bump" this time around, which warranted a flagrant foul.
Duke would go on an 8-0 run shortly after to take their first lead of the game, 27-26, exactly five minutes later at the 2:02 mark.
But, junior guard Joel Berry II and the Tar Heels would respond immediately, with Berry making a long distance call that went through, through the nylon that is, giving North Carolina a 29-27 lead.
Including Berry's three-pointer, the Tar Heels would finish the first half on a 10-4 run, heading into the break with a 36-31 advantage on the rival Blue Devils.
Both teams would trade buckets to start the second half knotted up with six points apiece. From the beginning of the second half to the 12:22 mark, North Carolina went on a 20-12 run to get back up by 13, this time at 56-43.
With 6:36 to go, the Tar Heels had stretched their advantage out to 15 points, 70-55, on a dagger by graduate transfer guard Cameron Johnson from long range.
Duke did get their deficit down to single-digits down 72-63 at the 3:34 mark off of two free throws by Bagley.
With 1:47 to play, Allen elevated in the corner for three and the basket accepted his request, making it a two-possession deficit for the Blue Devils, 72-66.
The Tar Heels pulled down three clutch offensive rebounds inside 3:15 to play to continue to run the clock down on the Blue Devils, taking a timeout with 1:03 to go.
Luke Maye fumbles the ball on the baseline and Duke took the ball down the court. Allen went to the rim and gave the ball back to North Carolina as a result of a charge called on Allen, his fourth foul of the game.
Theo Pinson would hand the ball back to the Blue Devils, sliding and then losing the ball out of bounds while trying to turn away from the double-team.
With 11.8 seconds to play, duke had possession, down three.
Allen was fronted and tried to put his body into Maye and force a three, hoping for at least a foul call.
The officials did not make a sound, but Pinson did, making both of his free throws with three seconds remaining en route to a 74-69 North Carolina victory.
Maye led the way for North Carolina with 17 points, followed by Berry with 13, and three players with 10 points apiece (Johnson, junior guard Kenny Williams, and freshman forward Garrison Brooks).
Duke was led by Trent's 20, followed by Bagley with 19, Allen with 16, and freshman forward Wendell Carter, Jr., with 14.
The 6-seed will face the 1-seed as the Tar Heels get set to take on the Cavaliers of Virginia in the ACC Tournament finale.