Colleges

UNC takes momentum into weekend, Duke looks to avoid skid

Posted February 21, 2014

— After Thursday night’s tilt, Duke and North Carolina each have four conferences losses on the season, but the teams have arrived there very differently. With one more meeting between the two to close the regular season, each is seeking to establish themselves among the ACC’s top teams.

Strategically on Thursday, UNC shifted to a man-to-man defense after Duke was able to grab an early lead against the Tar Heels’ zone. After that, the Blue Devils went on a nine-minute field goal drought, allowing UNC to seize the lead.

“They kept switching the defense from the 1-3-1 to man and that kind of threw us off,” said Duke guard Quinn Cook.

“They were really hurting us putting the ball on the floor and driving on us,” UNC head coach Roy Williams said. “We went zone and trap and that helped us some, but it was a bunch of kids playing their rear ends off is what it was.”

One of the game’s stand-outs was Leslie McDonald, whose nine field goals were more than he had hit in the previous four games combined. It was a fitting show for the senior in his final home game against Duke.

“It was just being able to go out there and give it my all and be in that type of environment. It means so much to me,” McDonald said. “I tip my hat to all the former players and hopefully we made them proud.”

Momentum remains with UNC. They have won eight in a row heading into Saturday’s game against Wake Forest (Noon, WRAL-TV).

“This was a big win for us and it proves to a lot people that those wins early in the season, the potential that we showed, we are starting to get there,” UNC guard Marcus Paige said. “This team can make a deep run if we keep working and we can beat any team in the country if we play to our potential.”

Against Maryland, Duke was able to overcome a poor night shooting from three-point range. That was not the case against UNC Thursday as they struggled to a 5-for-22 night from deep. It was more than just the missed shots, though, that befuddled the man on the bench for the Blue Devils.

“’It.’ We didn’t have ‘it;’ whatever the hell that thing is,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “In the second half, ‘it’ wasn’t in our huddle.”

“We didn’t get our emotions toward winning,” said freshman stand-out Jabari Parker. “I think they were more enthusiastic.”

Finding “it,” energy and enthusiasm is what Duke will focus on before hosting Syracuse at Cameron Indoor Saturday night (620 The Buzz).

Duke and Syracuse, who played one of the college basketball season’s best games in their first meeting, will each be coming off a loss when they meet Saturday. That ensures one of the nation’s top-5 teams will end the week having dropped two in a row.

9 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • JPack Feb 22, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Hokie may have something to say about that, but here's to hoping for a triangle sweep! Cheers (raising my coffee cup).

  • Jeanne Gunn Feb 22, 2014

    View quoted thread



    Thanks, JD. IMHO, it was right that UNC wasn't ranked as they had a bad start in conference play and hadn't beaten top-tier ACC team until the Duke game. I do believe they will be ranked in the new poll, but they need to take care of business in the Wake game. I believe Duke will beat Syracuse.

    Good luck with the game against VT; they've been playing better lately, so like any ACC road game, it will be a dog fight.

  • JPack Feb 22, 2014

    Hope both teams can pull it off. Duke needs a signature win, and how much longer til UNC gets a legit ranking. I believe Duke really is as good as they say they are, they just keep falling short in the biggest games. As for UNC, I know the Belmont and UAB games hurt, but come on. They have the big wins, several times over. They have the momentum and are playing top 15 ball right now.
    Good luck to both of you. State fan pulling for the triangle here.

  • Toddler10-21 Feb 22, 2014

    Dawkins should have had the Thornton minutes. Don't know why K continues to play this guy? They went almost 9 minutes without a basket. Dawkins is your best shooter. He had five in ten minutes. Thornton had zero in twenty minutes. Who was he guarding McDonald or Paige? Both had great games in the second half. Not gonna buy that Tech game because it was a blowout. Don't use excuses you just got beat. Will that be the excuse tonight?

  • Jeanne Gunn Feb 22, 2014

    The Duke/Syracuse game will be even more interesting with both teams coming off losses. I hope the Heels don't have a letdown after beating Duke. As bad as Wake is on the road, you can't sleep against any ACC team, and I bet they're hoping to capitalize on UNC's possible post-Duke hangover. It's up to the Heels to make sure that doesn't happen.

  • mike honcho Feb 22, 2014

    View quoted thread



    The way the fans rushed the court, it appears Wednesday nights game was UNC's national championship game.
    Sorry, 8 points is not a beat down.

  • 903 Hail Providence Feb 21, 2014

    View quoted thread



    "UNC beat them badly on the boards"

    "Dawkins only played 10 minutes last night. Wonder what's up with this?"

    Well, when Duke plays teams with more size, they take some minutes away from the guards and give them to Plumlee. The foul trouble for Jabari and Hood forced them to give some of Dawkins' minutes to Plumlee.

    And yes, the legs on less rest than normal between games having the trip to GA Tech on Tuesday night.

  • vt94hokies Feb 21, 2014

    UNC looked like they had more energy vs Duke last night. When the legs go, you can't shoot the ball. Look at the stat's. Duke shot badly from the 3 and Ft's. UNC beat them badly on the boards too. Too much practice without enough rest? Dawkins only played 10 minutes last night. Wonder what's up with this?

  • 123skipjack Feb 21, 2014

    waiting for the dookie crybabies to weigh in...Ouch, that beat down on Wed stings!

  • ACC: Wake Forest at Duke

    Tonight at 8:00 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Duke vs. Wake Forest

    Tonight at 8:00 on 620am

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Tomorrow at 9:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Friday at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CHA
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
WAKE
2nd
LOS 0
CWS 0
 
1st
CLE 0
CIN 1
 
1st
TEX 0
KAN 0
 
3:05pm Today
SFG
OAK
 
1st
SEA 0
SDP 0
 
1st
MIL 0
WMIL 0
 
1st
COL 0
ARI 0
 
7:05pm Tonight
MIN
UMIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
NYK
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHO
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
CHA
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
CLE
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
UTA
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
DEN
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
DET
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
LAL
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
MEM
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
PHI
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
SAC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
6:00pm Tonight
UNCA
LIB
 
6:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
7:00pm Tonight
USB
BING
 
7:00pm Tonight
FORD
DUQ
7:00pm Tonight
GMAS
GWU
7:00pm Tonight
UNH
HART
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJOE
LAS
7:00pm Tonight
Terriers
LIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
GTDNS
MAINE
 
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
ND
7:00pm Tonight
SHU
PROV
7:00pm Tonight
BRY
SHU
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
SEMIZ
7:00pm Tonight
MNTER
RFLSH
 
7:00pm Tonight
LSU
TENN
7:00pm Tonight
SFLA
UCF
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
UMBC
 
7:00pm Tonight
RMU
WAGN
 
7:30pm Tonight
UMASS
RICH
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
HOU
8:00pm Tonight
YALE
HOW
 
8:00pm Tonight
PITT
MIAMI
8:00pm Tonight
TXPA
NMST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MSU
PURD
8:00pm Tonight
STLU
BONA
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
WAKE
9:00pm Tonight
TULSA
CIN
9:00pm Tonight
VANDY
MSST
9:00pm Tonight
EILL
SIUE
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
STJ
9:00pm Tonight
OKST
TCU
9:00pm Tonight
UCLA
USC
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
UTST
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
AFA
10:00pm Tonight
SJST
BSU
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
COLST
10:00pm Tonight
ILL
NEB
11:00pm Tonight
ORST
OREG
11:00pm Tonight
UNLV
SDST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
UCSB
 
7:30pm Tonight
WIN
OTT
8:00pm Tonight
DET
NYR
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
MON
10:00pm Tonight
COL
PIT