Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Five observations from Duke men's basketball's first half against North Carolina

Five observations from Duke men's basketball's first half against North Carolina

A potential game-winner for Coby White, a pull-up jumper with just seconds left, rimmed out, and a putback attempt by Little didn't fall, handing UNC its first loss to Duke since March 3 of a year ago. I'm not going to say he's better than them, but he's a different player. I mean the rivalry lived up to what I expected it to be.

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED: North Carolina has been fueled by senior leadership this year while Duke has leaned on freshmen.

Duke-North Carolina Round 3 did not disappoint.

This was a game the Tar Heels led by 13 at one point in the first half when Duke erased the deficit by halftime with the help of an unlikely duo of bench players, Antonio Vrankovic and Jordan Goldwire. "The physicality increases, and probably the game even slows down some, and so you've got to knock down shots when you get them".

The good news is FSU basketball only executed one of our three keys to victory in the last match up and still managed to win the game.

The Florida State men's basketball team, which was blown out by the No. 2 Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Va., at the start of ACC play, showed just how far it has come Friday night in the ACC Tournament semifinals. The idea of an asterisk was without merit on February 20 and it still is today.

"These two guys have an unbelievable will to win", Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of Williamson and Barrett, "and it makes us coaches look a lot better".

The game wasn't decided until the final buzzer, when the White jumper and ensuing putback didn't fall and the Blue Devils held on by a thin margin against their rival. Three weeks later, he sat out the regular-season finale in Chapel Hill, and again the Heels dominated. Unprompted, Williams had a response.

"I don't know. Sometimes the ball doesn't go in", Jerome said. We have never won a tournament championship but one time.

Jerome's personal misfortunes continued in the same building, Spectrum Center, where Virginia last season became the first No. 1 seed in NCAA tournament history to lose to a No. 16 seed following a stunning upset by Maryland-Baltimore County, 74-54. It's also the same floor where Virginia lost a second-round game as a No. 2 seed to seventh-seeded Michigan State in 2015.

This time, the Cavaliers (29-3) were virtually powerless to stop No. 4 seed Florida State (27-6), which used its considerable length at every position to end Virginia's nine-game winning streak and deny the ACC regular season champions a shot at a second straight conference tournament title. "We've got six more games, hopefully".

Both teams will advance to the NCAA Tournament, which begins next week. The Blue Devils later made it back-to-back national championships.

Or perhaps the first two games against UNC without Williamson still carry weight with the committee.

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