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  • Writer's pictureFagothethird Franklin

Duke's storybook ending was silence by UNC 81-77

The rivalry of the century between Duke and UNC was must see TV on Saturday. With over 70,000 fans in attendance and the winner going to the National Title game, it was just a wave of emotion spilling out of the arena. If NC won, not only would UNC would tie their rivalry series up at 50, but they would end Coach K's decorative career with a loss.



Throughout the week, Coach K was just soaking in the feeling of another final Four appearance and wanted the spotlight on his team and what they accomplished throughout the season. However, that was not the case. This was a story book ending for Coach K. If his team defeated the Tarheels, they would go to the Finals. If they loss to UNC, it was still a win for the team, because nobody expected them to be in the Final Four. The big lights was on coach K.


Duke started the game off fairly slow. It seemed like they were nervous and had trouble getting in sync. At the 10 minute mark, the Blue Devils shot the ball at 45% but was 1 out of 6 from behind the arc. Surprisingly Wendell Moore was a non factor majority of the first half. He finished the half with only 3 assists and 3 points. Despite Moore not being a factor, Paolo Banchero and Trevor Keels picked up the slack and combined for 18 point to lead the Dukies into half with a 37-34 lead.


Duke had a wake-up call at the start of the second half, UNC went on a 11-0 run and coach K had to call a timeout to settle his team down.That timeout was what the doctor ordered. Duke went on a 10-2 run and looked to gain a little confidence with shooting from behind the arc. Well that sentence was written to early, because Duke could not contain the painted area on the defensive side and UNC used their height advantage to score buckets. With eight minutes left in regulation, Duke was looking at a five point hole that they had to dig themselves out of.


Duke scored a few quick buckets and took a two point lead with under four minutes left in the game. Both teams went back and forth trading buckets, leaving it all on the floor. The Blue Devils were clinging onto a one point lead with 1:14 left. What a game, UNC hit a three to go up four with 30 ticks left, but Duke hit a speed burst lay up to cut the lead to two. NC missed a free throw, which kept the door open for Duke to tie the game up with 10 seconds left. Fans were anxiously waiting to see what would happen. Could Duke pull out the rabbit out the hat? Duke missed a crucial free throw that could cut UNC's lead to one. That free throw cost them the game and the Tarheels went onto win.





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