Taking the eight mile drive from Chapel Hill to Durham, the Tar Heels knew they were going to have their hands busy last night when playing No. 2 Duke. The Blue Devils were heavily favored by -10.5 according to ESPN.
With all of the odds against them, North Carolina played one of their best games all season in enemy territory. Duke would still win the game, but they were outplayed for most of the game. It wasn’t until the second half that they took their first lead of the game.
Two keys to North Carolina’s early success was changing their lineup. Desmond Hubert was replaced by PJ Hairston and that threw the Blue Devils off at first. [Duke also added their Hairston (Josh) to their starting lineup too.] He scored twenty-three points with eight rebounds and three assists.
The second key for North Carolina was how they defended the arc and kept Duke from shooting three pointers.
Once North Carolina left their guard, Duke took advantage and Tyler Thornton took fire from three point range. That one mistake alone sent the momentum over in Duke’s favor. Thornton scored all nine points from behind the arc.
Escaping on their home turf by just five points, Duke will have to go play the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill where the results could very well change.