Cameron Johnson had 23 points for the Tar Heels, but he also missed a stepback 3-pointer for the lead that set up Barrett's missed free throws.
Who do they play next? "The rivalry lived up to what it was expected to be". Johnson shot a 3 with 18 seconds remaining that could've won it, and he was sure it had when it left his hand.
UNC responded well to a pair of second-half highlight-reel dunks from Williamson. DeLaurier may not be a factor in the second half this time either after picking up three first-half fouls. The Tar Heels slowed down Reddish in the opening 20 minutes after he lit them up for 17 first-half points in Chapel Hill last weekend. Duke started a mere 3-for-10 and missed its first seven triples while the Tar Heels drained nine of their first 16 shot attempts and took control of the pace, but the Blue Devils fought their way back into it with a quick 10-1 run and tied it on a Williamson 3-pointer in the final minute.
"I mean it was tough watching the first two (Duke-UNC) games, wishing I could go to war with them", said Williamson, who was hurt in the opening minute of the first meeting February 20.
Carolina had its chance to win and, thus, take three games from Duke for the first time since the 1975-76 season.
DID YOU KNOW: The Duke offense has scored 84.1 points per game this season, ranking the Blue Devils sixth among Division I teams. Before Barrett missed two free throws with 12 seconds left up by one, Williams called a timeout to assess UNC's options. The Blue Devils have just one loss with their full starting five on the court, and that makes a strong case for the NCAA tournament selection committee to put them on the top line and send them to nearby Columbia, South Carolina - just down the road from Williamson's hometown of Spartanburg. Duke, while obviously much better with Williamson, was clearly one of the country's best teams without him, too.
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The Cavaliers loss comes on the same floor where they became the first No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament to lose to a 16 seed in Maryland-Baltimore County previous year.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski elected to go deep into his bench when the Blue Devils fell behind by double digits midway through the first half and the strategy worked. "There's no one really like him", Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said after the game.
North Carolina did not shoot the ball well from beyond the arc (4-for-27), and instead of winning battles inside like it did in the two wins against Duke, the Tar Heels were outscored 50-38 in the paint.
Which roles into No. 2, and the wish across basketball that we get that game again on Monday, April 8 in Minneapolis.
But if this year's national championship comes down to the best two teams in the nation, we may for the first time get Duke-Carolina Part IV.
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