Game blog: Duke beats North Carolina 75-58 to capture ACC Title
Posted March 13, 2011
Game over: Duke wanted it more and wins it's 19th ACC Tournament Championship. This is the third straight for Duke. The Blue Devils will no doubt be a 1 seed in the NCAAs when the brackets come out later. Carolina should be a 2 seed.
2nd half - 3:33, Duke leads 71-56: Seth Curry hit a huge three after Carolina cut it to nine briefly. Then Barnes missed a wide open trey with Duke up by 10, and Kelly buries a three at the other end to put Duke up 13 with five minutes left. That was the sequence that decided the game there.
2nd half - 7:52, Duke up 61-49: This is as close as it's been in a while, 12 points. But Justin Watts just drove in the lane and called for charging. He should have kicked it to a wide-open Barnes for three on the wing. That could have made this game single-digits. Instead it's Duke ball and we're under 8 to play.
2nd half - 11:29, Duke still up 56-41: Carolina is starting to get some action from Tyler Zeller but the Heels aren't getting stops on the defensive end. Foul trouble might become an issue for Duke though as Singler and Smith both have three. Of course they will be trusted to stay in the game with those.
Just watched Zeller as he was going to the hoop on that last play when the ball was torn away from him. He is really getting frustrated, feeling not enough fouls have been called on him today. I would have let that one go though, there was enough contact on the ball.
It's a very physical game.
2nd half - 15:58, Duke up 49-34: Kyle Singler proved he can hit a three after all. He has nine points after his trey. Harrison Barnes only needs 33 more points to do what he did yesterday. Carolina might need all of that and more in order to win today.
Allright I've had it, I'm going Billy Packer now. I felt it five minutes into the game too.
2nd half - 17:23, Duke up 44-32: Duke got a timeout here to start the half after UNC made some things down low on consecutive trips. Henson fought hard for an offensive rebound and scored on Mason Plumlee. And Harrison Barnes pulled down a great offensive board and put it back up in traffic. His athleticism pays off all the time. You can't defend his jump shots either, he gets up too high.
Why Duke is "winning": (All I can hear is Sheen when I type that). The Plumlees and Kelly are 8-8 from the field. And Dawkins banged in three 3's. Duke shot 62 percent and 55 percent from three, Carolina shot 30 percent. Most of the other stats are even, except the score of course.
End of half: Duke owned it, enough said. Duke leads 42-28. Incredible balance for the Devils. Smith has 10 points, Dawkins his 9 on three 3's, Plumlees have been great.
Tyler Zeller has 9 for the Heels but mostly at the line. There isn't much to speak of for the Tar Heels. Duke's defense is with it today.
In the final minute Miles Plumlee and Justin Knox exchanged some fierce dunks. Miles grabbed a putback dunk over Knox. And Knox slammed on Miles at the other end, and Knox stared him down. Scoreboard Justin, scoreboard.
The half ends with Nolan Smith losing the ball and not getting his team a final shot, and Singler got called for a stupid foul on Leslie Mac with .6 seconds left in the half. That gave UNC two free points. If Singler let him go LMac wasn't going to get it up in time, and even if he did it was a low percentage shot.
1st half - 3:33, Duke leads 35-21: The Heels are still down big but John Henson made an outstanding play catching a long ball at the rim and putting it off the glass and absorbing contact. Henson will be at the line for a three-point play. The refs are letting the guys play down low to an extent but they are calling a lot of hand checks. Duke's been blown for eight fouls, UNC for six.
The officials even checked the monitor to see if Kyle Singler intentionally fouled Tyler Zeller as the two fought for a rebound. Zeller hit the wood like a sack of bricks. Seems like he hits the the deck a lot though.
1st half - 7:36, Duke leads 27-13: You have got to be kidding me Carolina. For the third straight game you have fallen way behind in the game early. Duke had a 25-8 lead here with a 15-2 run. Only problem is Duke isn't Miami or Clemson. It's going to be next to impossible to make this up now. But obviously there's plenty of time left. I'm trying hard to not go Billy Packer here.
Third time isn't a charm for UNC in starting a game fast.
UNC fans are trying hard to encourage the team on defense after Kendall Marshall hit a bucket down low.
slight delay: A UNC male cheerleader dropped his cheerleader girl on his head. Blood is gushing from his face, play is stopped as they try to clean it up. I hope he's okay.
1st half - 11:49, Duke leads 17-8: Good lord Dexter Strickland posterized Kyle Singler by jamming right on top of him but........Singler took the charge, no basket. I thought Singler was too far under the basket to get the call but it was on the other end of the floor from me, not a great look at it.
Duke is wanting it more right now. They've brought all the energy, looking like a team that doesn't wanna lose twice in a row to their rivals.
Nolan Smith just scored his first bucket of the game on a fast break off a turnover. Both Plumlees are playing great, they both have two buckets.
1st half - 15:58, Duke leads 8-3: What a start for the Blue Devils. They got out to an 8-0 lead. Miles Plumlee is playing ball, and the whole team is inspired. Duke has already forced a couple turnovers.
I swear it looks like the crowd is 80-20 Tar Heels fans. But you wouldn't say that going off of the noise being made. I guess you can hear em' but you can't see em'. This atmosphere is incredible. It's better than the one in Durham or Chapel Hill. Leslie Mac hit a three and Seth Curry got called for an offensive foul to spark UNC somewhat.
Gametime: Both bands are playing over eachother. It's already a battle. Here we go!
possible solo trumpet anthem?: A trumpeter rocking some white gloves has made his way to the court.
I also pounded a plate of lasagna for a quick media lunch and now I'm ready to go. Tip off coming in 10 or 12 minutes.
Kyrie Irving: Same thing as Friday with Kyrie Irving, with a little something added. He was out on the floor before the Miami game working out with a trainer doing various drills but it was by himself. Today he came out in full uniform and was doing drills with the team, stretching with the team, and looking more involved than on Friday. But now he's not with the team as Duke just came out again with a half hour until tip-off. He said earlier that he wouldn't play this weekend.
But I had a gut instinct all along that he would return, and I feel 95 percent confident that he's playing in the NCAA Tournament. That's just my gut, nothing more.
Pre-game: The cocktail party continues. I actually saw John Henson tweet that after one of the Tar Heel's victories this weekend. It's great to see the team buying in. And seriously, I believe that Roy and his players care about winning this tournament as much as anyone. I think Roy is bluffing when he downplays the event in the media.
It's surprising that it's been 10 years since Duke and UNC have met in the finals considering how these two have dominated the league. But now that the game's here, I'm not complaining.
The talk of the tournament yesterday was Nolan Smith coming back from his toe-injury scare and scoring 27 points, and of course Harrison "The Black Falcon" Barnes scoring 40 points in the Heels unbelievable comeback win over Clemson in OT.
I don't think UNC can afford to come out of the gates slow like they have the last two games, because Duke won't be giving that lead up.
Stick around. Vegas has Duke a 3.5 point favorite, and I agree. I can't see how this one ends in a blowout.