Five observations from Duke men's basketball's first half against North Carolina

Florida State upends No. 2 Virginia 69-59 in ACC semifinals

At the eight-minute mark, Williamson had managed just four points on 2-6 shooting, a sharp contrast from his flawless 13-13 performance against Syracuse the previous night.

It was a magical championship night for UNC's Charlie Scott, whose 40 points gave the Tar Heels a third straight ACC title in the days when only the ACC champion received an NCAA tournament berth.

Among the Cavaliers "Big Three" of Guy, Jerome and De'Andre Hunter, only Hunter (team-high 13 points) shot at least 50 percent against the Seminoles, whose size advantage and leaping ability throughout their deep roster helped produce a 35-20 margin in rebounding. The teams entered halftime tied 44-44.

The Blue Devils started the second half on a 8-2 run, which culminated with a tough layup by Cam Reddish to give them a 52-46 lead.

Williamson appeared to tweak his back in the final minutes, which Jay Bilas joked came from carrying the team himself. After the first, a baseline slam over Brooks, UNC rushed down court and got an open dunk of its own for Johnson.


The Seminoles are one of the hottest teams in the country, having won 14 of 15 games with the only loss during that stretch coming at North Carolina. When he returned at the under-four timeout, Duke immediately fed Williamson in the post. UNC may still get one if they lose, while the Blue Devils-currently projected as a 2-need to win to have a shot of that top line. 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.

Duke's Jordan Goldwire scored from point-blank range after a loose ball. But Williamson, isolated against Little on Duke's next possession, scored off his own miss - giving him 31 points and Duke a 74-73 lead.

Zion Williamson-you may have heard of him-tore through his shoe and sprained his right knee within the first 30 seconds of the first Duke-UNC matchup and ultimately missed six games.

The year before the heated duel in Atlanta, Ferry was the Duke star, scoring 19 points in the championship game in being named MVP. He brought a raucous Spectrum Center crowd to its feet with several dunks. And his success in the paint overshadowed RJ Barrett's 5-of-15 shooting night. So the question loomed: Would UNC still be the better team with Duke at full strength? Maye had 14, and White, who took UNC's last shot, had 11. I'm leaning toward the Blue Devils here, but it should be a great game regardless. "(Barrett) and Zion weren't as exhausted", said Krzyzewski, noting Duke's greatest flaw without Williamson for those six games, "because they were ... instead of giving energy to a teammate, they were getting energy from a teammate". This also marks UNC's first loss since February 11, when the Tar Heels lost at home to Virginia. "I watched my brothers out there battling and I wished I could go to war with them but it was very exciting to get out there and play".

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