Comarow’s Corner: Nerdy Takes (*Every Play*) of Duke-UNC

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This is every play of the game summarized with my thoughts. I mark the time of the game for when the specific play generally STARTS, rather than the exact time that would be listed in the official play-by-play. These thoughts are not meant to be grammatically perfect.

1ST HALF

19:50 UNC immediately tries to get Justin Jackson involved. He’s a key player for them with unlimited potential. Winslow stays with him and forces a miss. Jackson never gets into a rhythm during the game. This play might have set the tone.

19:34 Even on the in-bounds play, Jackson leaves Quinn Cook WIDE open. Tyus misses him, but an early example of UNC somehow losing Duke’s best three-point shooter over and over without Duke even having to run a play to free him up or him moving at all to get free.

19:30 Perfectly run pick and roll with Tyus and Amile, who finishes a tough shot. Duke needs to use Amile more often like this, even if just to make the defense respect the possibility.

19:20 Cook gives up on Tokoto driving to the rim around the free throw line, but Amile alters the layup with insanely good defense and gets the rebound.

19:15 Cook leaks out and Tyus finds him as soon as he receives the ball from Amile for an open three in the corner before UNC’s defense can get set. Tyus is a wizard at doing this.

19:05 Kennedy Meeks with a quick, long two-point shot just inside the center 3-point line. He misses. If I’m Okafor, I allow him this shot all day until he forces me to respect it.

18:55 Okafor takes the ball left into the center, which, as I described in my Okafor scouting report, is a major weakness of his. He lacks a left-hand finish unless moving towards the basket, so when he starts to fade away, he is forced to switch to his right, and awkwardly misses short.

18:45 After Jah’s miss with him and Amile down low, UNC takes the ball in transition. They have a 3 on 2 because Quinn Cook never appears in the picture. This is not uncommon for Quinn in transition defense this season. Winslow is left out to dry and Brice Johnson scores.

18:25 Justise Winslow hits a Nowitzki-esque step back jumper. Wait, what?

18:20 UNC gets the ball up quickly, trying to catch Duke before they are set, and Tyus has a bad matchup against Justin Jackson. As usual, Tyus is up to the task, not necessarily stopping Jackson, but forcing into a rushed, tough shot.

18:00 Justin Jackson is having a rough start. He falls for a Winslow shot fake from three-point land (why would you fall for this, Jackson?) and Justise burns him with a drive to the basket with little resistance.

17:55 Paige destroys Quinn on the crossover, forcing Amile to switch. Then Quinn loses Brice Johnson cutting to the hoop and Winslow, for the second time already in the game, is left out to dry and fouls Johnson. Quinn argues with Amile after the play. Not sure what case Quinn can possibly make for himself. Amile correctly switched.

17:25 What on earth is Justin Jackson doing? He doubles teams Winslow in the corner, leaving his man Cook wide open for three. Luckily for him, Cook misses.

17:10 Kennedy Meeks back Jah down, but seems to almost get too deep, and doesn’t look comfortable finishing with his left hand. Jah smartly overplays Meeks to his right shoulder, and when Meeks goes up with two hands, Okafor has already started his jump, blocking the shot. High IQ defense by Jah.

17:05 Tyus kicks the ball ahead to Quinn, who sees Jah setting up deep post position on Meeks. Quinn with a nifty bounce pass to Okafor, and game over. Unstoppable when he gets that deep.

16:55 Tokoto takes a tough jump shot from around the left elbow on Amile. Good defense by Amile, but I have no clue when Tokoto is thinking shooting long jumpers. Not his game.

16:45 Quinn drives to the center and catches Brice Johnson off guard, hitting Amile with a bounce pass that Jefferson reverses in for a layup. This is one of two plays in the game where Quinn creates by himself in a positive way.

16:12 Meeks hits a step back 15 footer on Jah from the left baseline. Too good. I’d let him have that shot as much as he wants.

16:00 Tokoto gets lost behind an Amile screen for Winslow, and Paige applies no ball pressure to Tyus. Still, the accuracy on Tyus’ alley-oop to Justise is pretty insane from 10 feet behind the three-point line.

15:40 Quinn loses Paige on a screen, but Winslow steps in to take the charge (Paige’s 2nd foul). Winslow has played amazing help defense so far in the game in half court and transition. Cook…has not.

15:27 Matt Jones comes up 5 feet short on a 3 foot teardrop. I kid because I love!

15:15 So…Jahlil Okafor just took out TWO North Carolina players with a screen, giving Tyus a free run to the rim, which he converts with a tough finish over Hicks.

15:00 Isaiah Hicks is very, very athletic. Originally I thought Matt Jones didn’t apply enough ball pressure on Tokoto, but it’s not like he was hanging off. If Plumlee had tried to defend Hicks, he would have been posterized.

14:30 Tyus is doubled near half court, and Britt leaves his man Cook to try and get a tough steal. Not a good risk, because when he doesn’t get it, Cook is wide, wide open. Splash.

14:10 Cook goes over a screen for Nate Britt (Jah is the other party involved), and gets back in time to challenge the long two, but a good shot by Britt. Too good.

13:40 Quinn tries to iso Britt, and actually crosses him up, but gets out of control and turns the ball over on a pass in traffic to Private Plumlee.

13:35 Tyus allows Britt a free cut into the center of the lane, where he receives the ball and finishes. Rare unawareness by Tyus, and Plumlee’s not gonna make up for any mistakes.

 

TYUS JONES TAKES A REST, AND A SINGLE TEAR RUNS DOWN MY CHEEK.

 

13:15 Question: Why is Isaiah Hicks on Quinn Cook without a switch? And why does he leave Quinn Cook for double Okafor? Of all people UNC chooses to keep leaving open, it’s Quinn? That’s three treys by Quinn with no one near him. Credit to Cook for converting, but these are practice type of shots. Major fails by UNC.

12:50 Joel James is a big boy, and Okafor allows him to muscle in, finishing with a soft touch. James is a foul machine, but I’m not sure why he wasn’t in the game more at crunch time instead of Meeks, who Jah abused.

12:40 James knocks Okafor out of post position, and it goes uncalled. Jah becomes frustrated and plays beyond his skillset, dribbling left to the center of the paint, and travels.

12:20 James comes back down and hits a terrific lefty hook on Okafor. This shot has nothing to do with bad defense by Jah. Just too good by James. He’s someone to watch for a breakout season next year.

12:05 I have no comment, and I refuse to analyze this play by Okafor. I’ll just sit back and watch on a loop for the next couple of months.

11:45 Isaiah Hicks is inspired by Joel James backing Okafor down, so he tries it. Note to Isaiah Hicks: You are not Joel James. Yep…Hicks travels. I love seeing the emotion by Okafor after this play.

 

TYUS JONES IS BACK! THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE.

 

11:20 Winslow takes a couple dribbles to the right elbow, and like a magnet, Britt comes over to double him, leaving Quinn Cook wide open for the FOURTH time in the corner. Splash. If I’m Roy Williams, I’ve probably lost my mind at this point trying to figure out why guys are leaving Quinn to double.

11:05 Britt gets the angle on Quinn. Cook just isn’t fast enough to keep up with guys on the dribble drive.

10:50 Duke runs the same alley-oop play that worked with Winslow to Grayson Allen. Amile sets a pick up top. Brice Johnson sees it coming, though, and has the length to bother Grayson and cause Allen to mishandle the pass.

10:40 Cook is caught going way over a screen up top and Amile switches onto his man, leaving Brice Johnson just long enough for Johnson to get an open jumper at the top of the key.

10:20 Allen makes an impressive move and tries to finish the drive with his left hand, but gets robbed by the rim.

10:10 Justin Jackson is living a nightmare, as he throws an entry pass intended for Meeks right to Okafor. Jah was overplaying Meeks to the left side, so the pass should have gone to his right shoulder. Bilas was wrong in saying Meeks should have held him off.

10:07 Okafor thinks he’s a PG and makes a stupid play to try and go coast to coast 1 on 3. Needless to say, he is stripped.

10:05 Berry passes to Meeks for an and-1 on the break. Big momentum shift. Dumb play by Jah.

9:50 Tyus plays hot potato with the ball, then stands and watches Cook try to iso, and the result is Quinn getting stripped by Berry. A scrum ensues and UNC gets in transition. Tyus Jones draws the charge on Berry. Horrible call with him sliding into the defense. I really hate when Tyus snaps his head back to make it look worse. Total bushleague.

9:20 Tyus stands and watches on the next offensive possession, resulting in a Jefferson miss and then a Jah missed tip, but Amile gets the offensive rebound and kicks it out to Tyus. Jones then makes an insane pass to Amile cutting to the rim on a slow-developing pick and roll.

8:40 Brice Johnson misses a quick baseline jumper and Tyus, as typical, snatches the rebound and pushes the ball up to Jah on the break, but Okafor fumbles it away. It could have been huge for momentum.

8:30 Berry pushes back in transition for UNC, and Amile switches onto him when Tyus is picked off. Berry comes up short on the runner and Tyus may or may not be pushed by Johnson’s left arm as he gets the offensive rebound and scores.

8:00 Meeks gives Jah the angle to the right, and when a defender does that, it’s game over. Incredible touch on the runner for OKafor. Big hands McGee does it again.

7:45 Tyus gets burned by Berry, and when Amile comes to help, Johnson has a wide open layup. Tyus has to guard on-ball better than that.

7:35 Grayson impressively driving to the left for the 2nd time, drawing the foul.

7:33 UNC pushes up to Paige, but Amile closes out in a hurry and causes the miss, but leaving Kennedy Meeks. Tyus doesn’t move for the rebound and Meeks gets it. Berry misses a three with no one around him and Duke gets the rebound. Very lucky.

6:50 Berry gets switched off Tyus and Jones has Meeks at his mercy. He decides to drain a three from the center because, why not?

6:40 Marshall, as he does at least once per game, wanders off like a lost puppy and allows an easy bucket under the rim to Meeks for an and-1. Amile looks ready to strangle the lieutenant, but that would be un-American, so he backs off.

6:25 Tyus showing a little too much confidence, throwing a crazy pass to Amile at the rim that somehow Amile manages to catch and draw the foul. I wouldn’t recommend it again, though. Amile shoot with zero arc on the free throw and bricks it straight into the front of the rim. Same ol, same ol.

6:15 Proof that Jah actually has the capability to stay with a guard (Paige) when Quinn is screened off. Even if it was just for a second or two, he showed great capability to move his feet, eventually forcing Paige into a long 3. Page is showing no trust in his teammates.

6:04 Amile shot-puts it straight ahead, and somehow the ball goes in on his first free throw. 2nd one goes off back him. Amile…um…doesn’t have touch, shall we say.

5:50 Winslow is switched onto Paige, and plays great defense, keeping the angle and forcing Paige into another tough shot at the rim.

5:35 After Okafor kicks out from the double team to Winslow, Justise throws a pass that pretty much equals a brain cramp. He should have been running back down in transition as soon as he released it. Duke can’t make up for the bad pass, though, and Tokoto gets a highlight dunk on the break.

5:10 Now Cook tries to create off the dribble. No.

5:00 Tyus moves inside to try and grab the Britt miss, but in doing this leaves Paige wide open for 3 when UNC grabs the rebound. There is a chance Paige could have been Cook’s man, though, since Cook trotted down the court after his miss on the offensive end.

4:40 For the first time in 3 possessions, Tyus creates, grabbing his own miss and getting fouled. Scrappy play.

4:20 Tyus fights through screens to stay with Britt and Quinn forces Tokoto to settle for a right elbow jumper, but James hits Jah with a right elbow and slides underneath Okafor for the offensive rebound and putback.  This guy James is something else.

3:45 Okafor tries a turnaround jumper from the right baseline, which is incredibly rare to see from Jah, and his left foot lands on James, bending it in an ugly fashion. Plumlee grabs the offensive rebound and kicks out to Cook, but Britt decides to actually guard him and forces the miss. Matt Jones gets inside position and scores on the offensive rebound. I love me some Matt Jones. Play is stopped with Okafor down, wincing in pain. It looks bad, but from my experience, the fear combined with adrenaline when that happens sends your body into shock, making the pain seem worse than in actuality.

3:25 Tyus stays with Berry on the drive, then Plumlee and Amile come over to trap him underneath the basket and force the turnover. Great defense by Duke, and Tyus is fouled, making two free throws. Okafor comes back out to the bench and CIS exhales.

3:00 Britt is UNC’s best three-point shooter, but looks awkward in this game. All his shots are flat and come up short. He might be rushing his motion.

2:35 Tyus snaps a pass to Matt Jones for a made three-pointer on the wing, and Dan Schulman makes fun of Matty Ice’s rotation. Don’t worry, I’ve already addressed my 17 page letter of hate to Dan Schulman’s place of residence.

2:30 Quinn harasses Britt on the inbounds, and Amile comes over to strip him, giving Duke another possession. It goes Amile-Tyus-Amile-Ice-Quinn-SPLASH. And once again Nate Britt feels comfortable leaving Quinn wide open for three. Only he knows why.

2:00 Tokoto hits a jumper from the right elbow. He’s already missed a bunch of these. I’m more than okay with him taking it.

1:40 Quinn tries to create himself. Stop it, Quinn.

1:25 It looks like Brice Johnson trips Matt Jones, but Jones also wins an Academy Award for acting like Johnson hit him with a brutal forearm shiver, drawing the charge. Fine acting by Matty Ice.

1:15 Tyus misses at the rim on a drive to the left that he finishes 99 out of 100 times.

1:00 At the end of a scrum for the ball, it goes right through Amile’s wickets to Brice Johnson, who finishes at the rim. Unlucky, as Amile was in great position for the rebound.

0:50 Tyus sets up a perfect play for Amile cutting to the rim, but his bounce pass hits off Brice Johnson’s foot, leading to a jump ball and staying with Duke.

0:45 Okafor comes back in, and CIS goes crazy.

0:35 Tyus Jones is called for the foul on a “pick play.” I understand the explanation…and yet I don’t understand the explanation. That is an AWFUL call. Barely any contact at all. Britt didn’t even really sell it well.

0:05 Berry misses on the drive, but Matt Jones doesn’t box out Tokoto. And…TokoWHOA! He might have been 25 feet above the rim on the putback slam, according to my official stats.

 

2nd Half

19:45 Winslow gets picked off Tokoto, but Amile has been insanely good at switching so far in the game and comes out to challenge Tokoto’s jumper. Why is Tokoto shooting jumpers instead of driving? That’s another story.

19:40 Winslow gets the rebound and pushes ahead to Tyus, who somehow splits Paige and Tokoto with a pinpoint pass to Amile cutting to the rim. Amile blows it. Ugh…

19:30 Cook knows that Amile is down, and still watches Brice Johnson run right by him, straight to the rim to receive the pass and dunk. Justin Jackson continues his nightmare night by missive Johnson by 5 feet, though, so Cook gets away with it. Still, bad awareness by Cook. Jefferson then blocks Tokoto.

19:25 Maybe Tyus’ one-handed pass ahead to Cook slipped, but still an awful, awful pass by Jones for the turnover. Something to notice is Quinn’s reaction after the turnover, though. He keeps jogging forward and sulks, hanging his teammates out to dry. This happens way too much with Cook, and no one ever says anything about it.

19:15 Johnson scores inside while Cook is back sulking.

19:00 Winslow iso’s on the drive to and finishes with his right. The step-back jumper and now finishing with his right hand? Those are moves I haven’t seen from him this season. Impressive.

18:40 Tokoto takes another jumper, this time from the right baseline. Roy needs to have a heart to heart with the young man. No one that athletic should be settling for jumpers the way Tokoto does.

18:25 Jah’s post position is too far away, but he’s bailed on the foul with another defender coming over to double.

*When Jahlil Okafor missed free throws early in the year, they always came up short. It seems like he’s trying to shoot harder now, but it ends up with him pushing the ball and releasing at different points. It’s become mental.*

18:21 Kennedy Meeks and Brice Johnson jump into each other on the Okafor missed FT and Amile hits the jackpot, grabbing the loose ball and scoring. Up to this point, Amile has been the x-factor for Duke. He’s playing amazing ball.

18:05 Justin Jackson telegraphs his pass and Winslow steals it. I’m actually feeling badly for Jackson at this point. I know, I know…

17:55 Amile gets it inside with what seems like good position and doesn’t look to shoot. I guess he thought he was too far under the rim, but I’d like to see him more aggressive. After kicking out to Cook, Quinn threads the needle with a beautiful pass for Winslow, who for some reason tries to finesse the ball in 1 foot away from the basket instead of dunking it, and blows the shot.

WASTED OPPORTUNITY

17:40 What are you doing, Quinn??? Paige drives right by him for the scoop as Cook stands and watches.

17:20 Quinn tries to create on his own. No.

17:10 Meeks takes Okafor to the center and uses a soft touch to finish. I’m not worried about the finish on Jah. I’m more worried about Meeks’ bullying him so close to the basket to get position. The ankle has nothing to do with this.

16:45 Okafor is doubled, and like he does many times this year, kicks out a beautiful pass to Winslow who swing it over to Tyus for the potential hockey assist, but Tyus misses. Very well run offense, though.

16:30 Meeks now gets the roll on a fadeaway jumper on Okafor. Unlike the previous play, there is nothing Jah can do on this. Too good. Something to watch…Cook stands and watches Tokoto fly in for the potential offense rebound. Meeks gets the roll, but if the shot was missed, Tokoto would have another highlight dunk, with Cook never having moved a muscle.

16:05 Okafor misses a WIDE OPEN Amile right underneath the basket when Brice Johnson comes over with a slow developing double team. Jah doesn’t notice, and dribbles it off his foot. Sloppy.

15:50 UNC’s size is becoming a factor, as Tyus is forced to try and box out Tokoto on the Hicks miss. Not happening. Tyus is tough, but is outmuscled on that.

15:30 Tyus takes a very un-Tyus like freshman shot, throwing up a dumb shot and falling into the stands, leaving Duke short in transition.  Quinn stands in the corner, watches, and falls behind Jackson. This happens way too often with Cook. On the opposite corner, Winslow stands, watches, and falls behind Tokoto. Not good. UNC takes the lead with a Tokoto slam.

15:05 Good cut to the rim by Quinn, great pass by Jah, but great footwork to get in position by Hicks, taking the charge. He was set before Cook left the ground. Good call.

14:45 Tyus, for some reason, hedges out to the free throw line giving Tokoto a free run to the basket for the offensive rebound. I have no clue why. This is as bad a 5 minutes as I’ve seen from Tyus in a long time. In saying that, though, I’ve not sure how Duke is supposed to play Tokoto when UNC decides to put him at the 2-guard. Winslow actually tips a loose ball to Kennedy Meeks, who is in perfect position for the layup.

14:20 Tyus loses control on his drive to the rim. As good as he is, he can struggle when trying to finish left with ball control on the shot. Then Jah misses right next to the rim on a shot where his ankle seems to be affecting him.

14:10 Meeks beats a gimpy Jah down the floor and Cook is forced to foul him underneath the rim.

13:55 Amile cuts to the rim as Jah is doubled, and this time Okafor finds him. Amile has been the most consistent Duke player to this point. Great, great game. And he actually makes both free throws!

13:35 For some reason, Roy brings Britt back in to replace Jackson. This brings UNC’s size down, and in my opinion, unless is what purely for rest, was an awful decision by Roy. Winslow blocks Hicks, but the ball is on top of the rim, so it is rightly called a goaltend.

13:20 Winslow has position down low on Tokoto, but passes back out. I don’t like the passiveness. Okafor finds Amile, who completes an unbelievable reverse layup. Unfortunately he hits the back him on the and-1 free throw because of his lack of touch.

13:00 I might give Winslow a medal of honor for doing his best to rebound down low against James. The mentality of Justise Winslow is something that cannot be taught.

12:35 Winslow with a good drive, but the rim is unkind. Again, I love his mentality right now. 100% attack mode.

11:50 Amile stays with Britt on the iso. Good defense. Good box out by Jah against James.

11:40 Jah hands it to UNC on the turnover and they take it down in transition, with Tokoto finding Hicks with a great pass for the finish.

11:15 HUGE Quinn Cook three-pointer. This is the first shot he’s hit when being guarded, with little room to get it off. And it prevented UNC from taking total control of the game. HUGE.

10:45 Britt shoots another brick and Quinn takes it in transition. I trust Quinn completely on three-pointers and transition finishes, so I find it odd that he faded from contact on this play. Not very Quinn-like, and UNC takes it right back in transition at Duke. Hicks misses UNC having numbers, though.

10:15 Amile stays with Paige on the isolation. Jefferson has played a special, special game.

9:55 Jah with his first deep post position in a long time. Even with Joel James’ bulk, Jah is unstoppable. And he finishes left, which I love to see. It’s an and-1 play, but doesn’t make much of a difference if he can’t hit free throws. A damn shame.

9:35 Nate Britt shoots a three-pointer and misses. I’m good with this today, haha. Thanks for letting Duke off the hook.

9:30 Winslow goes at Johnson. Good for him mentally to keep the attack-mode in high gear, plus this will, as everyone knows, eventually lead to Johnson fouling out.

9:25 UNC leaves Cook wide open again off the in-bounds play. He misses, but at this point UNC should just be ashamed of themselves. Cook is basically shooting practice three-pointers.

9:20 Tyus is back in transition on Tokoto, but this time Tokoto doesn’t settle, taking it straight at Tyus and drawing the foul. If I’m Duke, seeing his aggressiveness scares me.

9:00 Tyus telegraphs his skip pass to Matt Jones on the drive, leading to a turnover. This is the worst extended period of time I’ve seen from Tyus in a while, worse than even the Georgia Tech game. He isn’t running the offense much, so he doesn’t get into a rhythm. When he actually does control the ball, he’s making bad decisions. Weird.

8:45 Berry misses a three-pointer. UNC is doing Duke some major favors by shooting all of these outside shots.

8:35 Cook gets flat-footed and loses Berry on the drive, causing Winslow to have to help out. When this happens, Johnson is free and Berry finds him for the finish at the rim.

8:20 Good take by Matt Jones, but I would have liked to have seen him try to finish at the rim. He lacks the touch right now to hit a shot fading away. To hit that shot, perfect balance is required, which he struggles with.

8:05 I have no clue how Jah got around Meeks for the contested pass. And then he dives on the floor for the ball? Slap the floor, Big Jah!! #TheNewWojo

8:00 Tyus with what might be my favorite move of the season for Duke that doesn’t officially count. In the NBA, it’s continuation.

7:45 Okafor has the right idea when doubled in quickly passing it inside to Amile (who had Paige on him next to the basket) but the pass is too low and hits off Jefferson out of bounds.

7:30 I’m not sure if Okafor thought he had backside help underneath the basket, but I’ve never seen him overplay his man on defense to the extent that he overplayed Meeks. An easy pass over the top leads to a goaltending by Jah trying to make up ground.

7:10 Tyus shows good aggressiveness, but can’t get the angle on Britt, who plays good defense. Tyus’ momentum keeps him going out of bounds, and UNC pushes the pace with Meeks far out in front of OKafor. Jackson finishes, and Carolina has total momentum.

6:30 Quinn gets out of control and manages to skip pass it to Tyus in the corner, but Tyus pump fakes, trying to draw the foul, and Carolina has the advantage again. Duke is always at risk when they miss corner three’s, as their rotations aren’t good enough to overcome the rebounds leading to transition opportunities. Sure enough, Hicks get the ball ahead to Paige, then to Hicks, who makes the shot and-1.

6:15 Jah gets too far underneath the basket to prevent a long rebound going to Jackson. On the ensuing possession, Quinn gets totally caught up on the screen and allows Paige a WIDE OPEN  three-pointer that he somehow airballs. Duke gets incredibly lucky.

5:40 Cook tries to create, but finds himself in no man’s land at the free throw line. The ever-consistant Nate Britt, for some reason, comes over to double, leaving Tyus wide open for Cook to kick it back out to for the three-pointer.

5:05 Duke leaves Berry for the baseline three, and he hits. That is NOT in the scouting report. He was 6-24 before the game from three.

4:50 Cook tries to iso and create for himself. No.

4:40 A Justise Winslow sighting! Incredible foot speed to get over to Justin Jackson and block his layup. Then Winslow takes it coast to coast, drawing the foul. Duke has missed this aggressive kind of Winslow, who I haven’t mentioned in about five minutes.

4:16 The ref gets Matty Iced!! (I Kid, I Kid)

4:15 Meeks sets a good screen for Britt to curl around, and Tyus does a good job of helping over for Cook, can’t prevent Britt from finishing at the rim for an and-1.

4:10 Britt misses the free throw, and the ball bounces off Winslow’s hands followed by Johnson tapping it back out to give Carolina another possession. Matt Jones gets totally burned on penetration by Britt (I liked Britt better when he clanked outside shots) and this is when I commented on Twitter that Duke looked worn out. Thank goodness I was wrong.

3:45 Winslow with good aggressiveness, but at this point, Tyus has created on offense ONCE since the 9 minute mark (my 7:10 analysis). This is not the type of offense that works for Duke. Get the ball in his hands until it’s forced out!

3:20 Winslow forces Johnson into a tough fadaway. Good defense, holding the score (Duke down 10) as is.

3:12 Tyus is back! Drives and creates for Winslow’s three-pointer.

2:40 Duke plays good defense, but Carolina bleed clock and Tokoto hits a tough jumper off the dribble over Matt Jones, who is right in his face. Too good.

2:25 Winslow passes to Jah on the left baseline. As soon as Brice Johnson comes over to double, Winslow darts to the rim and Okafor finds him perfectly for the dunk. I don’t see Justise do this enough (cutting to the rim without the ball.) I will admit, though, that Amile being out of the game frees up space down low for more cutting.

1:55 It’s tough to tell if Cook lets Paige go because he knows he’s being backed up by Winslow, or if Cook legitimately can’t come close to staying with anyone on defense for more than a couple dribbles. Either way, Winslow does great work and forces the miss.

THIS IS WHEN COACH K SUPPOSEDLY TELLS HIS PLAYERS, WITH THE SCORE 79-72, THAT DUKE WILL WIN THE GAME

1:45 Brice Johnson falls for Winslow’s shot fake (WHY???) and Justise takes it to the rim, drawing the foul. Either way, I love Winslow’s aggressiveness throughout the game.

1:38 Duke gets INCREDIBLY lucky that Johnson and Paige run into each other, with Jefferson picking up the ball and giving Duke another chance. Tyus misses the three, but Winslow gets the rebound and kicks it back out to Tyus, who takes the bump and scores at the rim.

1:23 Meeks tries the Grant Hill to Christian Laettner play and throws it out of bounds. #Boom

1:23 Roy Williams and Quinn Cook their next brunch.

1:23 Tyus Jones’ in-bounds pass is tipped by Tokoto and picked off by Britt. Matt Jones fouls him.

MOVING ON

1:21 Nate Britt bricks the one and one (He hasn’t shot nearly this badly when I’ve watched him throughout the year) and Tyus, after the ball is tipped around, takes it and without hesitation, sprints down the court, getting fouled at the rim.

BILAS IS RIGHT. WHILE THIS WAS AN EXCITING GAME, AT THIS POINT IT’S ABOUT WHO WANTS TO LOSE MORE

0:50 Paige runs the pick & roll to Johnson and Winslow gets the clean block. The refs…see it otherwise. Oops.

0:47.5 Johnson hits both and UNC is up 5.

0:45 Tyus says “screw it” and takes it straight into Berry. Bucket, and-1.

0:37.6 Johnson is purposefully fouled by Matt Jones and short-arms the first FT of the 1 and 1. Duke ball.

0:35 Winslow somehow screens two UNC players (look like he grabbed after Tyus was already by), freeing up Tyus to take it straight to the basket. INCREDIBLE WINSLOW PLAY.

0:05 Cook takes a horrific roundabout angle on Paige, and Matt Jones saves the day with an incredible closeout.

 

OT

MATT JONES IN FOR AMILE

4:50 Winslow smartly allows Tokoto to shoot the free throw line jumper and Tokoto obliges, bricking it. Meeks hit a very skillful shot on Jah. Too good.

4:35 Justise, without hesitation, takes it right at Johnson and fouls him out. High IQ.

4:30 Jah, with pure effort, gets around Meeks for the offensive rebound but loses the ball out of bounds. Rare to see the ball come out of his big oven mitt hands. He misses the free throw. Ugh.

3:35 Johnson misses an open three and Jah gets fouled, sending him back to the…gulp…free throw line.

3:28 Jah misses both free throws. Getting tough to watch. Paige grabs Matt Jones, then Hicks shoves him to the ground. Jones will feel that in the morning.

3:25 Okafor sees Hicks run right by him after the free throw miss while backpedalling, yet still seems unaware that he needs to guard him. This is kind of humorous, but only because I know Duke still wins the game.

3:10 Winslow a bit out of control trying to take Hicks off the drive without Duke getting into a set offense. Should have given it to Tyus to settle things down.

3:10 Jah is late getting back down the court again, and Tokoto takes advantage by slashing to the center on Matt Jones.

2:55 Tyus takes it right into Britt for the finish through contact. So, so impressive.

2:25 Paige makes the mental error of leaving his feet and at the last second trying to throw a bounce pass to Meeks. Tyus grabs the loose ball and throws it ahead to Cook, who finishes strong on the break.

2:05 Cook is switched onto Hicks and reaches around for the foul.

*Tell me the refs didn’t really call Matt Jones for that crap. Unreal*

1:50 Winslow makes another play that will go overlooked. Extremely physical screen to free up Jah on the left side, all by himself. After that, Okafor does work, schooling Meeks like an elementary school kid. If I’m Meeks, I foul Jah before he gets that close to the basket. Make him earn the points with free throws.

1:20 Britt is switched onto Okafor at the three-point line and drives by, but Winslow is there for help, like he has been the entire game.

0:45 Tyus drives and shoots a fading jumper from the left baseline with five seconds left on the shot clock. It misses, but Matt Jones flies in for the rebound and gives it to Quinn.

0:31.8 Quinn makes 1 of 2

With UNC down 2, they obviously want to get the ball to Paige, but their spacing is horrific. They get Paige on Jah for a couple seconds, but Tokoto is right next to him, so Winslow is backing up Okafor without even trying. Tokoto should have ran away from the play to give Paige more room. Carolina ends up with a desperation Tokoto jumper, which Duke will gladly accept. Brick. Quinn gets the rebound and a chance to ice the game.

0:5.2 Quinn makes 1 of 2 again. Disappointing.

0:3.5 Britt makes the first, and with UNC down 2, purposely misses the second. Paige comes in and gets position on Tyus, but Winslow knocks it out to Jones and time runs out…exhale.

 

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