CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The No. 8 ranked Duke Blue Devils took on their rival North Carolina Tar Heels up at Chapel Hill in what could have been the pivotal game for UNC and the rest of their season. Duke came out on top winning the game by a final score of 64-54.
North Carolina losing this game might just maybe have been the final punch that could knock out UNC for the remainder of their season. A win here for North Carolina may have been enough to start some kind of a run that could help them get to the NCAA Tournament. As it is, UNC lost and they are now have a 13-10 overall record with a 2-7 record in their ACC Conference. The Tar Heels are now the number eleven spot in the ACC.
Probably the best part of the Tar Heels night was when they hung Tyler Hansbrough’s number from the rafters. Hansbrough’s number 50 jersey will now forever hang in Chapel Hill. UNC really should try to hold on to this because it really was the only bright spot for them on the night.
The Tar Heels biggest problem against Duke in this game was that they could not get defensive boards. In total, 23 of Duke’s 51 rebounds were offensive. The amount of rebounds by Duke was because Duke had a terrible night of shooting from the floor. Duke came out on top because they shot the ball well from the perimeter.
Duke was led by senior guard John Scheyer as he ended the game with a total of 24 points; most of which came from beyond the arch. He shot 5-9 from the perimeter. Kyle Singler chipped in as well for Duke as he added 19 of his own points. Scheyer and Singler did most of the work for Duke all night long. At the half, Scheyer and Singler combined had 22 of Duke’s 28 points.
Duke hit a total of 9 three pointers throughout the game. However, the rest of their shooting was awful. In all, Duke shot just 32 percent from the floor; and from inside the arch they went just 13-51 (25 percent). This game was the worst shooting performance that Duke can remember having this season. It wasn’t until the end of the game that Duke really started to pull away. This win put Duke with a 20-4 overall record. The Blue Devils are sitting alone on top of the ACC standings.
In the end it was Duke’s two stars, Scheyer and Singler, who led them to their big rival win over UNC. Who wasn’t a part of the big win was Nolan Smith. He went the entire first half before he finally hit s shot. If Duke does want to be a factor come this March then he needs to find a way to get hot early. Duke doesn’t have the sufficient amount of men who can come off the bench and help Duke win those close games. Duke must have contributions from all players in all aspects of the game.
As for North Carolina, this game really could have been it for UNC. With their 13-11 record, they now are left having to perform well in the ACC Tournament or they could find themselves out of the NCAA Tournament. In my mind, they are going to have to win the remainder of their games or they are going to find themselves playing for a NIT championship.
At the end of the night, it was another great rival game between Duke and North Carolina. It was no classic by any means; but it's always special when these two schools get together and play.