Friday, 22 March, 2019

Duke Basketball: Blue Devils defeat North Carolina in an instant classic

Williamson-Zion-USNews-031619-ftr-getty Zion Williamson
Cassandra Castillo | 17 March, 2019, 06:54

"That is just my competitive spirit", Williamson said of the tip-in. "More physical tonight. All of it".

North Carolina is now projected to be a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament after its 74-73 loss to Duke on Friday, according to ESPN bracket analyst Joe Lunardi's projections early Saturday. Williamson returned from a six-game absence during Duke's 84-72 ACC tournament quarterfinal win over Syracuse on Thursday night.

R.J. Barrett added 15 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, but he struggled with his shot and shot selection in the second half, making five of fifteen shots and just two of nine from 3-point range. "Just go back, get back to Charlottesville, get back in the gym and get ready for our next game". Fast forward to the rematch and the Seminoles shot 56.5% for the game and outrebounded UVA 36-20. Over his last four games, Mann is only shooting 16.6% (2-for-12) from beyond the arc.

"We're focused enough and we've been around the block a few times", Huff said.

"When they're pressuring you have to attack and we didn't attack", Williams said. "All right, we lost, we'll get some extra rest for these guys, we'll grow, learn from the tape, and you take the hand that's dealt, and make the most of it".

The second half of Virginia-NC State will begin shortly on ESPN.

North Carolina (27-6), which has won 15 of its last 17 games, is now ranked No. 7 in the latest NET rankings, which is the primary metric the selection committee will use when seeding teams on Selection Sunday.

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"We grow from this experience", Bennett said. "It was a matter of a game where we didn't make our shots".

Florida State, now 27-6, was a much different team than the one the Cavaliers virtually destroyed to begin the ACC season.

Even though North Carolina lost in an instant classic against Duke, I still think they're the most complete team in the country and the ACC team that has the best chance to cut down the nets. "They're physical that way".

Meanwhile, Virginia will be back in Charlottesville, preparing for Sunday's NCAA bracket reveal and a return to the event that broke the program's heart a year ago with a first-round loss to UMBC. Nichols repeatedly backed down Clark on the low block to sink short jumpers.

The graduating trio of Johnson, Williams and Maye scored 46 of North Carolina's 73 points, gathered 22 of 44 rebounds, and sank three of the team's four 3-pointers.

During an 11-1 Seminoles run in the second half, Nichols made three consecutive field goals, once even scoring on Hunter, the ACC defensive player of the year and projected National Basketball Association lottery pick who has drawn comparisons to Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard, among the best two-way players in the world.

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