Per usual the Duke vs UNC matchup generates a lot of hype: 2 programs rich in history, playing tough hard nosed basketball. A game that features the best players on a grand stage. Unfortunately for those watching expecting a good game got the basketball equivalent of an avalanche – the team that was buried was in home white. The Tar Heels took it to the Blue Devils and never looked back. UNC was never threatened in the game and Duke was shellshocked and thoroughly beaten.
It took less than 33 seconds for the complexion of this iteration of Duke vs North Carolina to change. That was the point in the game where freshman Zion Williamson exited the game with a mild knee sprain. It’s hard to really quantify what his absence in the game meant for Duke but Carolina wasn’t waiting to find out. The Tar Heels poured it on the Blue Devils and there was no answer. UNC managed to score with relative ease scoring a whopping 62 points in the paint and out-rebounding Duke 46-41. North Carolina took the Devils apart and secured an 88-72 victory in Cameron.
Without a consistent 3rd scorer to compliment R.J Barrett who scored 33 points and pulled down 13 rebounds and Cam Reddish who scored 27 Duke was unable to keep up with the Tar Heels. The Blue Devils were also careless with the basketball to the tune of 20 turnovers which lead to 19 UNC points.
Luke Maye torched Duke for 30 points and 15 rebounds while Cameron Johnson added 26 for the Heels who move into a 3 way tie with Duke and UVA for first place in the ACC. Neither team shot well from 3 point range going a combined 10-59.
Freshmen Zion Williamson’s status going forward is still in question. The next game for the Blue Devils is Friday on the road at Syracuse.