Duke Basketball: 5 Things We Learned from Win over North Carolina

Josh SchochAnalyst IIIMarch 10, 2013

Duke Basketball: 5 Things We Learned from Win over North Carolina

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    The Duke Blue Devils closed out the regular season right.

    Duke went on the road to face arch-rival North Carolina in college basketball's biggest rivalry, and the team from Durham ran away with a 69-53 victory.

    Mike Krzyzewski's bunch didn't win the ACC title, but the team finished the year strong and will look to roll through the ACC tournament next after this huge win.

    Let's take a look at what we learned from Saturday night's contest.

Seth Curry Is a Catalyst

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    Seth Curry came out firing on all cylinders against UNC.

    There was simply no way to stop Curry at the beginning of the game, as he knocked down his first seven shots against a helpless North Carolina defense.

    Curry helped the Blue Devils build up their 18-point lead at the half and finished with 20 points. He was the reason why Duke came out hot, and why the team dominated throughout.

Mason Plumlee Is a Beast

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    If you haven't heard of a guy by the name of Mason Plumlee, then you should probably look him up before the NCAA tournament starts.

    Duke's senior leader and National Player of the Year candidate exploded once again on Saturday, finishing with 23 points and 13 rebounds on 10-of-15 shooting.

    Plumlee owned the paint single-handedly and proved his dominance once again if you needed another example of his brilliance.

Ryan Kelly Isn't Back Yet

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    Coming back from a lengthy injury to score a career-high 36 points is nice, but Ryan Kelly isn't completely back to normal yet.

    Obviously, Kelly shooting 10-of-14 from the floor and 7-of-9 from three in his first game back against Miami was huge, but since then he has steadily come back to earth.

    On Saturday, Kelly had his worst game since returning from injury, scoring just eight points and grabbing three rebounds compared to three fouls and three turnovers. He had a minimal impact on the game and was not his usual self.

    Luckily, Duke still dominated the game, but it's too early to say that Kelly is picking up where he left off.

Quinn Cook Is Being Asked to Do a Lot

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    Quinn Cook has become a huge part of Duke's success this season.

    Considering that the sophomore point guard was hardly playing double-digit minutes per game last year, it was tough to imagine that he would play all 40 minutes on the road against UNC...but he did it.

    Cook has become the unsung hero of the Blue Devils, and Saturday night's contest exemplified just how much he does for the team, running the offense for the entire contest.

Duke Is the King of Tobacco Road

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    With another win against North Carolina, Duke went 2-0 against the Tar Heels this year, winning by an average of 10.5 points.

    The Blue Devils dominated college basketball's biggest rivalry, blowing out UNC at Chapel Hill and winning at home without Ryan Kelly.

    Duke proved that this year belonged to them by sweeping the season series, and the Blue Devils are the kings of Tobacco Road.