banner
Joe Ovies

Talking Points: Delayed gratification for Heels

Posted February 21, 2014

1. Duke didn't have an answer for North Carolina in the most critical moments of Thursday night's sloppy, yet entertaining rivalry showdown in Chapel Hill. The Blue Devils compounded their defensive issues and diminished energy with bad offense, allowing the Tar Heels to slowly take control  of the game and sweep the leg in the closing minutes.

Duke went 11-for-31 from the field in the second half, including a stretch that lasted nearly 10 minutes where they missed 13 straight. The Devils missed layups, made only three of their 13 attempts from beyond the arc, turned the ball over seven times and mustered .829 points per possession.

Ultimately, North Carolina's defensive effort and overall intensity were the differences in the game. Credit to Roy Williams for making the right adjustments, utilizing zones to stifle Duke's typically efficient offense. 

2. North Carolina had various contributions from the eight players who clocked double-digit minutes on the court. Whether it was James Michael McAdoo pulling down 10 rebounds to go along with a handful of key drives to the basket or Desmond Hubert's efforts on defense, the Tar Heels got a little something from everyone.

The Tar Heels who truly stood out in the victory over Duke were Marcus Paige and Leslie McDonald.

Duke clamped down on Paige in the first half, with the sophomore going scoreless on only two shot attempts and turning it over three times. Yet Paige has developed the uncanny ability to overcome these shaky starts with wizardry in the second half.

McDonald found himself in a zone early on, going 5-of-7 for 11 points in the first half and finishing the game with a team-high 21 points. Make no mistake, North Carolina needed this kind of performance out of the senior, and he came through in a huge way.

3. Duke absorbed North Carolina's initial start to the game, and the general feeling was that the Blue Devils would pull away after halftime. And why not? Rodney Hood was unstoppable and Quinn Cook was engaged. Duke was also getting an aggressive performance out of Marshall Plumlee.

Then it all went away from the Blue Devils in the second half.

"We didn't have life," Mike Krzyzewski said after the game. "No matter what we did in a timeout, we just didn't have that spark. The anger. The emotion. The thing you have to have to match their crowd and their team."

Krzyzewski believed North Carolina had "it" and his Duke squad didn't have "whatever the hell that thing is."

4. The Tar Heels started off the game 1-of-8 from the free throw line. The misses were atrocious enough to create a palpable tension inside the Smith Center every time they went to the stripe. After J.P. Tokoto made consecutive free throws, the crowd let out a sarcastic cheer that was mixed with nervous relief. The Heels managed to settle down abd didn't let their previous issues from the line hurt the rest of the game, as they converted 19 of their next 23 attempts.

5. [Obligatory comment about terrible ACC officiating.]

6. For all the hand wringing over last week's postponement of the game, it actually added to the atmosphere Thursday night in Chapel Hill. So when North Carolina claimed victory once the final buzzer sounded, it wasn't a surprise to see students release that pent up energy and rush the court.

Social media instantaneously shamed North Carolina students for taking to the floor. "Act like you've been there before," was a common refrain. Others used the opportunity to concern troll over safety issues.

These are probably the same people who glued their LEGO sets together because they hate fun.

At some point older fans and media will realize students really don't care about the unwritten rules of court storming or the stodgy opinions of a generation that already had their time on campus. Let them enjoy their youth and the amusing stupidity that goes along with it.

7 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • jmcdow2792 Feb 21, 2014

    Why would we think Duke will have it tomorrow? They haven't had it for two plus games even though they won at BC.

  • dooksucks01 Feb 21, 2014

    "These are probably the same people who glued their LEGO sets together because they hate fun."

    LOL, he just mentioned and admonished 903.

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant Feb 21, 2014

    Was glad to see the life come into the Heels for the win. they looked good last night!

    For the record, yes, I hope Duke lays a shallacking on Syracuse tomorrow.

  • Jeanne Gunn Feb 21, 2014

    It was great fun to see two HOF coaches give this game their all, just as the players from both teams did. Very happy the Heels came out on top.

    As for the fans rushing the court and Franklin Street - good for them - it's what rivals do in a victory.

  • Toddler10-21 Feb 21, 2014

    Yes he did. Even the defenseive stopper/glue to the team didn't know what to do besides foul as he usually does!!

  • dukegrad1988 Feb 21, 2014

    Everyone should be thanking UNC for this win. Now, Duke and Syracuse will be licking their wounds going into Saturday's contest. Should make for more drama and excitement. GO HEELS!

  • dukegrad1988 Feb 21, 2014

    Ole Roy outcoached K with that zone defense and K had nothing to counter it with. GO HEELS!

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 1
BOS 2
Final
DUKE 66
GONZ 52
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
BOS
 
Final
PHI 4
DET 4
Final
WAS 11
MIA 7
Final
BAL 5
MIN 6
Final
STL 2
NYM 3
Final
HOU 0
NYY 7
Final
ATL 2
PIT 4
Final
BOS 3
TAM 2
Final
TOR 2
BAL 4
Final
ANA 6
CIN 8
Final
KAN 0
CHC 7
Final
CLE 1
CWS 4
Final
SFG 11
LOS 9
Final
OAK 7
MIL 0
Final
SDP 8
SEA 5
Final
LOS 10
TEX 5
Final
COL 2
ARI 1
Final
ARI 10
COL 11
1:05pm Today
DET
ATL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
STL
WAS
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
MIA
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
COL
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
KAN
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
ANA
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
LOS
 
6:05pm Tonight
HOU
TOR
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
Final
WAS 91
HOU 99
Final
BRK 107
LAL 99
Final
NOP 110
MIN 88
Final
CLE 87
PHI 86
Final
MIA 109
DET 102
Final
BOS 106
LAC 119
Final
IND 104
DAL 99
Final
SAN 103
MEM 89
Final
PHO 97
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
LAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
MIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
PHO
 
Final
LOU 70
MSU 76
Final
DUKE 66
GONZ 52
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
LAMON
 
Final
NYR 2
WAS 5
Final
CAR 1
BOS 2
Final
NAS 2
CAL 5
Final
NYI 5
DET 4
Final
OTT 2
FLA 4
Final
NJD 1
ANA 2
Final
WIN 3
CHI 4
Final
PIT 3
SJS 2
7:30pm Tonight
MON
TAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
VAN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
CAL
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
EDM
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
BUF