The Heels have outscored Duke 22-8 in the half.
From there, the Tar Heels reeled off a 16-2 run in the first five minutes of the second half-pulling ahead by as many as 10 points before Duke made its push back into the game. Leading in rebounds 21 to 16 and with 30 points in the paint.
The former five-star recruit had the breakout performance of his career, scoring a quick eight points during nine minutes of action in the first half, making all four of his field goal attempts. Juniors Cam Johnson and Kenny Williams combined for 10 threes. Duke is shooting 58 percent from the floor, and Gary Trent Jr. now leads the Blue Devils with 9 points. Against the best rebounding team in the country, the Blue Devils secured nearly every board and point in the paint.
"We turned a four-point lead into a 10-point deficit", Duke senior Grayson Allen said.
TIPOFF: The Battle of the Blues is on.
With none of his typical lineups having any success halting North Carolina's second-half onslaught Thursday night, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski chose to go with a non-traditional look. Normally, when these two legendary college basketball programs play twice a year and potentially again in the ACC Tournament, it warrants must-see TV.
"Both teams are still all right".
North Carolina reserve point guard Seventh Woods played for the first time since November, though he finished scoreless. It could just be a temporary blip on the radar and the intensity and the court-slapping and the Cameron Crazies and all that stuff that has been a part of what makes the rivalry great will return.
On the game itself: "Really a hard-fought game. That's just part of your season". That's the most its ever hit against Duke. North Carolina was unbeaten from then on, snatching the national championship.
Tonight was another classic game in the all-time series between Duke and North Carolina.
February is barely a week old, but it hasn't been kind to the Duke Blue Devils. The result: they were in position to put the game away before the half.
Krzyzewski said the Tar Heels' depth provides numerous scenarios.
"I just wanted to come out and be aggressive", Williams said. "They'll be hard to defend on Thursday".
Marvin Bagley III was dominant for the Blue Devils.
Not once during the next three-plus minutes did Duke find a way to exploit the mismatches created by that lineup. If projections that they might be one-and-done prove accurate, this would be their only appearances on the North Carolina campus. The Tar Heels made the Blue Devil defense look malleable, turning the ball over just once and owning the hardwood beyond the arc.
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