The game had all the makings of a great rivalry game.
Duke and North Carolina both ranked in the top 10. One with many talented freshman and one senior. The other, a veteran team, whose key players had won a national championship. Both with Hall-of-Fame coaches.
It was the final game of the regular season and the second meeting between these two teams — UNC won the first. After coming off heart-breaking loses, both needed a win to secure the No. 2 seed in the ACC tournament next week.
But only one could come out on top.
Here late Saturday night, that team was Duke .
UNC led by 10 points at halftime, but the Blue Devils went on a furious run to win 74-64 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. With the win, Duke (25-6, 13-5 ACC) will be a No. 2 seed in the ACC tournament, while UNC (22-9, 11-7 ACC) will be a No. 6 seed.
The Cameron Crazies roared and chanted. They had waited on this game. Some had camped out for six weeks to get a good seat, endured a flu outbreak four weeks in, and strong winds one day before the game, which destroyed some of their tents.
But it must have paid off because Duke got the win. Duke senior guard Grayson Allen scored 15 points on his senior night.
The first half of this game was ugly. But the second half, would make most people say 'wow.' The Tar Heels led by 10 points early.
UNC's Joel Berry and Theo Pinson, who had their senior night spoiled earlier this week on a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer, were hoping to spoil Allen's. And after one half, it looked like that would happen. The game was tight during the first 15 minutes.
Neither team had a lead larger than four points. But after Blue Devils scored to cut the the lead to one point, 24-23, with 5:38 left in the first half, the Tar Heels ended the half on an 11-2 run and led 35-25.
Duke managed to get the score within seven points, 50-43, after nine minutes. Then the Blue Devils went on its big run.
A three-pointer by Marvin Bagley III started it off. After a UNC miss, Bagley scored on a layup and was fouled. The Tar Heels missed again, and Duke freshman guard Gary Trent Jr. knocked down a three-pointer to put Duke up 52-50. Duke extended its lead to four points and kept the lead. Bagley led Duke with 21 points. UNC grad transfer Cam Johnson led the Tar Heels with 16 points.
The Blue Devils lead by Marvin Bagley III respond and defeat North Carolina on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C.
North Carolina coach Roy Williams joked about aliens after his team’s poor performance in the second half of Saturday’s 74-64 loss at Duke.