Monday, March 5, 2012

Duke-Carolina Round 2 Summarized in 2 Plays

In the first meeting between Duke and North Carolina, the Tar Heels blew a late 10-point lead and lost on a last-second buzzer beater by Austin Rivers. There would be no such comeback for the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium Saturday for the regular-season finale, as UNC destroyed Duke from start to finish, winning 88-70 and taking home the ACC regular season title.

Three Tar Heels finished with double-doubles on the day, as Tyler Zeller more than likely solidified his ACC Player of the Year award with 19 points and 10 rebounds on 9-11 shooting, John Henson added 13 and 10, and Kendall Marshall was magnificent, scoring a game-high 20 points and dishing out 10 assists.

Carolina did what it was unable to do in the Dean Dome, suffocating Duke at the three-point line and forcing the Blue Devils to beat them inside. Even with the Plumlee brothers playing pretty well, that's a mismatch that no team in America can win. The front court of Zeller, Hanson and Harrison Barnes is the best in the country, and UNC displayed that Saturday.

However, the dominance is best encapsulated by two plays from UNC freshmen James McAdoo and P.J. Hairston.

Those plays displayed the utter dominance UNC had on the boards, hauling in 13 offensive rebounds and out-rebounding Duke 42-22 for the game. If the Heels play that kind of defense, especially at the three-point line (Duke was just 6-21 from beyond), you could just see UNC end up where it started the season — the No. 1 team in the country.

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