by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
Nearly a month after Austin Rivers’ buzzer beater propelled No. 4 Duke over No. 6 North Carolina revenge was had by the Tar Heels, who thumped the Blue Devils on their home floor, 88-70. The win gives North Carolina the ACC title.
It was over early as the Tar Heels doubled up the Blue Devils in the first half, 48-24. The much heralded North Carolina starting five did most of the damage for Roy Williams’ squad. All five players were in double figures, led by sophomore guard Kendall Marshall, who finished with 20 points and 10 assists. It was his second double-double of the season.
The Tar Heels victory over Duke was a one-sided affair for the ages. It was North Carolina’s largest margin of victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium since 1989 and its third largest ever against Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
From the Charlotte Observer:
“We got beat by a better team tonight,” Krzyzewski said. “I wish we would’ve played better in that first half. We were just so bad in the first half.
“But they make you look bad. They were very good. I think that anything that I say (like), ‘We didn’t play as well,’ might take away from the way they played. They were terrific tonight. I can’t say enough about them.”
The win means that North Carolina will be the one-seed in the ACC tournament and Duke the two-seed. The two could meet again in the ACC final on March 11.