The Tar Heels, on the other hand, are headed to the ACC title game and will look to take down the nation's top-ranked team and its vaunted defense to boost their profile in advance of the Big Dance. But then Roy Williams benched all five of his starters and the wake-up call worked, as the Heels outscored Miami, 82-51, over the next 33 minutes. The Heels may not have the dominant back-to-the-basket guy of teams of recent vintage, but they did outscore Duke 34-32 in the paint last night.
After tossing in a baby hook with 8:25 to go, he grabbed an offensive rebound, scored on a turnaround bank shot in the post and followed with another bucket inside at the five-minute mark to make it a nine-point game.
You knew that Duke had something in them late in the game.
"That's not the first time I've been in a situation where I had to hold the ball, but it's the first time I lost it like that", Pinson said. "We (Duke) can't do anything but take it one game at a time".
Despite some some fun upsets from Boston College, a noteworthy 21-point comeback by Notre Dame against Virginia Tech, and a major snowstorm in Brooklyn, the ACC semifinals come down to three of the top four seeds in the conference. "They make plays when we need them and to have guys around you that are going to make those plays, that you can count on ... it's pretty special". Wing Cam Johnson was put into the starting lineup after the Heels played poorly in a 61-49 loss at Virginia on January 6.
Marvin Bagley III had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Blue Devils, and Trent added 20 points and six rebounds. They will be ready to put that half behind them tonight against a Duke team is just 3-3 against the spread in its last six away from home.
Meeting for the second time in less than a week, the animosity surfaced on several occasions. That helped propel them over UNC only a week ago.
Virginia will be fresher. Do you think that was the only time someone was hipped in the game?
"You've gotta respect him", Williams said. "If you really want to rip a jacket in half, start at the back, at the bottom where it's already split".
Lock in early: North Carolina is playing its fourth game in four nights. Virginia, conversely has 20.
Coach K, in his seventh year at the Blue Devil helm, led his top-seeded team to a stirring tourney crown inside the Greensboro Coliseum. One team is going to get another big-time win on Saturday night.
The turnovers were not confined to a single player, with three Blue Devils coughing it up at least four times. Johnson would have been Pittsburgh's best player by a mile, had he stayed. North Carolina needs to keep up.