North Carolina defeats Duke 82-78

Theo Pinson and the Tar Heels will be looking to avenge a loss suffered to Duke in last year’s ACC Tournamen Semifinals

They grabbed 20 offensive rebounds and held Duke to a 31.4 offensive rebounding percentage; on the season, Duke collected more than 41 percent of their misses.

Joel Berry also scored 21 points for UNC.

UNC used a 16-2 run to start the second half to take control of the game.

With reserve forward Marques Bolden scoring inside and Trent knocking down outside shots, the Devils led by as many as 12 in the first half. The 6-foot-8 junior, a transfer from Pitt, finished with 18 points and 13 boards.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 16 points to lead the Blue Devils (19-5, 7-4 ACC), who have lost two in a row.

After starting out passably, the Blue Devil defense vanished.

However, the Blue Devils only led by four points at the half thanks to the play of Cameron Johnson and Kenny Williams.

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TIPOFF: The Battle of the Blues is on. North Carolina matchup is finally here. "Duke is still Duke". The three other teams that are sitting with seven wins in the ACC are Miami, Louisville, and Duke. Sometimes, one game can really help you if you're really good at some of these things (that have been troubling) and you win.

Across the past 100 meetings, each side has won 50 times. This is a prime opportunity for the North Carolina captain to regain his 2016-17 form. All four teams are jockeying for third place in the conference with Clemson in second and UVA with a dominate top spot. Meanwhile, despite two players just about averaging a double-double, Coach K's squad sits at 65th among 75 major conference teams by allowing an ugly 11.7 OREBs per game.

ESPN gives Duke a more than 64 percent chance to win the game.

. "They're so much stronger around the basket with their inside game this year than they have been".

"They can come out with a small and a big lineup", Krzyzewski said. "They'll be hard to defend on Thursday". Whether the Blue Devils can make enough adjustments to mount a deep run in March is another matter entirely. During an 11-game stretch between the Tar Heels' shocking home loss to Wofford on December 20 and their win Saturday over Pitt, Williams averaged only 8.5 points on 38.6% shooting-including 25.5% from three-point range-in 30.8 minutes per game. Williams said Woods, who hasn't played since November because of a stress fracture in his foot, is on track to play in this game.

The Blue Devils and Tar Heels played one of the most-exciting first halves in a while.

Overall, North Carolina leads the series by a 135-110 margin.

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