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Joe Ovies

Talking Points: Second-round knockout

Posted March 10, 2013

1. Seth Curry scored 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting and essentially had North Carolina playing catch-up the entire first half all by himself.

"[Curry] just toyed with us," said Roy Williams. "He stepped back, he goes through, he could see open shots. He was in complete control on the offensive end and we were a step slow staying in front of him."

2. Not that teams can't recover from inauspicious starts, it's just that Duke's thoroughly aggressive play never allowed the Tar Heels to do anything other than react.   UNC vs Duke Slideshow: Duke trounces North Carolina, 69-53

Curry's brilliant start obscured the Blue Devils collectively shooting 69 percent in the opening half. Quinn Cook and Tyler Thornton knocked down crowd hushing three-pointers. Mason Plumlee chipped in eight points and helped Duke pull down 61 percnet of North Carolina's missed shots. 

The advanced statistics of the first half are even more eye-opening, with Duke effectively shooting 78.8% from the field and running an offensive efficiency of 128.0.

3. When Curry cooled off, Plumlee heated up. The senior had a 10-point burst after halftime and wrapped up the night with 23 points on 10-for-15 shooting and 13 rebounds.

Through a combination of adjusting for the perimeter shooters and Ryan Kelly taking away the opportunity to double-team, Plumlee thrived at the expense of James Michael McAdoo.

4. North Carolina was 1-of-14 from beyond the arc and didn't make that three-pointer until P.J. Hairston knocked one down with 5:04 left in the game. While the Tar Heels took their share of rushed shots in responding to Duke's opening barrage, credit has to go to the Blue Devils for pressuring the perimeter the entire night.

The Tar Heels actually had 13 more shot attempts than Duke, but wound up only hitting 34 percent for game.

Duke's commitment to making everything difficult for the Tar Heels allowed them to survive a field goal drought of their own that lasted for nearly seven minutes in the second half. 

5. After the game, Williams did not want the loss to define what North Carolina had accomplished since the initial meeting with Duke in Durham. The Heels won't play again until 9:30 p.m. on the Friday of the ACC Tournament, which certainly provides them time to forget what happened on Saturday and give guys like McAdoo some time to rest.

Obviously North Carolina would have rather won the game but getting waxed can be a liberating experience. Burn the film, look at the improvement over the last three weeks and have confidence everything will click again in Greensboro. Who knows, maybe the Heels will get the rubber match against Duke on Saturday?

As for the NCAA Tournament, the ceiling for this team is probably the Sweet Sixteen. It's cliché, but everything rides on the match-ups. North Carolina can deal with bigger squads, provided their interiors are offensively challenged like Georgia Tech and Maryland. 

28 Comments

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  • eichn001 Mar 10, 2013

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    No prob. Those games against Maryland are pleasant memories for me. The Duke-UNC rivalry was pitiful those years- from 98-99 season to 2001-02 season, UNC only beat Duke once. Oddly enough, UNC's one win in the time was at Cameron, due to a mental mistake by Shane Battier, of all people, fouling Brandon Haywood 17 feet from the basket trying to steal the inbounds pass with almost no time left.

    Glad to have UNC-Duke rivalry back strong. Maybe one of these decades NC St8 will join us. Or maybe they should just follow Maryland to the Big 10 and leave the ACC to the schools that can ball.

  • heelsforever Mar 10, 2013

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    Fack fan happier about d00k's win than d00k fans.

  • jbenjamin1387 Mar 10, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Your right it wasn't the defense Carolina wasn't playing against themselves last night! it was only five players on the floor the entire night. give me a break typical looser status you got pounded deal with it. Whatever happened to kelly or no kelly duke will loose? Excuses Excuses the carowina tradition. Sweep

  • StunGunn Mar 10, 2013

    View quoted thread



    I agree. The game had NOTHING to do with coaching. Roy called a T/O very early into the game to refocus the guys, and it didn't work. I don't think any amount of coaching would have helped. It was one of "those" games. You're right about the irony of the jump shot too.

  • StunGunn Mar 10, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Hey, thanks for refreshing my memory. I thought that last minute loss to Duke crushed Maryland, but if they made it to the FF, you're right - they DID recover. That was the same time frame when Carolina was tanking, and I think Maryland took the place of Carolina as Duke's rival.

  • kornfan2448 Mar 10, 2013

    My Talking Point: Next time the Heels need to score more points than the other team.

  • VT1994Hokie Mar 10, 2013

    When Miami was 13-0, most everyone thought they would rule. Not so fast. They lack team focus. Lost games to much lessor teams. That's why Duke is again at the top of their game since Kelly is back. Curry can take over a game anytime. But, if he doesn't, Duke has 3 more that can do this.

  • ugottabkiddinme Mar 10, 2013

    View quoted thread

    no kidding!! The Heels had a awesome season when you look at it...I mean tell me another team that can lose 4 NBA starters and play the last game of the ACC with a tie for second on the line with the SUPPOSED 3rd place team in the country....Good jobs HEELS!! wished you would have played like you are capable of last night but $#it happens!!...final four is still there!

  • ugottabkiddinme Mar 10, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Seriously!?...dude it had nothing to do with coaching and all to do with Curry just being in a zone and the Heels having an off night shooting...and don't give me that is was the defense...the Heels just missed open shots as well as lay ups..it happens! I said it before the game when you rely on the jump shot some nights you look unstoppable and others like you couldn't even beat State..lol i had to go there....you should know this! Dook has been this way for 10 years until this year ironically

  • randrmomanddad Mar 10, 2013

    Carolina wins and this is yesterdays news...

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