The old saying goes that the third time is the charm, and that proved to be correct on Friday night for the Duke Blue Devils as they overcame the North Carolina Tar Heels 74-73 in the ACC Tournament semi-finals. Of course, there wasn’t anything missing this time around for Duke, with Zion Williamson finally able to actually play the game after the botched shoe incident. And boy did he make a difference. Williamson led the #5 team in the country past the #3 team by leading all scorers with 31 points.
That comes a night after returning to action and posting 29. Even with him, though, this was a very hard fought win for the Blue Devils. The Tar Heels did not give it to them, and it required a late tip-in by Williamson to put his team into the lead. He made that basket with 30 seconds left, so they still had work to do in order to win the game. And they did just enough as NC just couldn’t get the shot they wanted. They were led on the night by Cameron Johnson’s 23 points. Even with the loss, they are still expected to be in contention for a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Duke, meanwhile, moves on to face Florida State in the ACC Tournament Championship Game on Saturday. The Seminoles held off the Virginia Cavaliers, who also will have a say at a #1 seed.