We have seen a great number of brilliant games between the Duke Blue Devils and the North Carolina Tar Heels down the years. Saturday’s meeting was not supposed to be one. North Carolina have been well below their standards, and they sat at 10-12 ahead of the visit of the #7 ranked team in the nation. Even being at home, they were expected to be swatted aside. But it was a rivalry game, and for a long, long while it looked like they would upset the Blue Devils to take the series’ all-time head-to-head lead.
In the end, though, Duke managed to find a way, winning 98-96 in overtime. It’s hard to know where to start here. The Tar Heels led by as many as 13 with four minutes left only to see Coach K’s crew come back from the brink of defeat. Tre Jones has to take a lot of the credit. He scored 28 total points, including a jumper to force OT that came after a perfectly executed missed free throw. It was clear he was their star man, but he had some misfortunes in OT. UNC once again looked like they were going to win when he missed a crucial free throw. Somehow, though, they still remained with a chance. He would put up a shot with hardly any time left, an air ball, that found its way to Wendell Moore who tipped it in to win it. Cole Anthony finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds for the losing side, who put in one of their best performances of what has been a rough season.