|Tar Heels North Carolina||94|
|4Duke of the Blue Devils||81|
DAREM, NC – North Carolina ignored all the attention around the final home game of the retired Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski, as well as the emotionally charged, noisier than usual crowd of Duke, who is in fourth place.
Instead, rival Tar Hills walked into Cameron’s indoor stadium and fearlessly ruined Coach K’s perfect exit in the postseason.
Armando Bacot scored 23 points and Tar Heels scored 59% after the break to upset the Blue Devils 94-81 on Saturday night. .
First-year coach Hubert Davis brushed off the “praise” of Krzyzewski’s final home game, saying that the team needs to eliminate all unnecessary emotions and do one thing: compete.
“All week we just talked about our competition,” Davis said, “that we had to do three things: we had to get on our feet, we had to stand on our own, and we had to fight. … I just felt that in the course of the game we started to gain more and more confidence. “
In the final minutes, Tar Heels (23-8, 15-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) increased their lead to double digits, taking free throws and leaving Cameron Crazy in disbelief that Krzyzewski’s last home game after 42 years at the helm of the Duke would end .
The day began with more than 90 former Blue Devils players joining Krzyzewski on the pre-game photography and coaching field with 1,196 career wins and five NCAA Championships. There were also celebrities like comedian Jerry Seinfeld and NBA commissioner Adam Silver who attended the game, where ticket prices rose to four- and five-digit.
Emotions were too much even for the veteran himself from the coaches.
“I didn’t think I would pay,” Krzyzewski said. “But I did. But everything is fine, everything is fine. “
He paused, then, smiling, added, “I’m glad it’s over.”
Krzyzewski spent the whole season trying to avoid questions about his upcoming pension – even avoiding the use of the word “last” – and tried not to distract or create additional pressure on his team. Everything started to change in the last days when the moment was approaching for a coach who has long followed the approach that lives in the moment.
The Blue Devils (26-5, 16-4) still felt this pressure.
“It was a big moment, actually a huge moment this week,” Wendell Moore Jr. said. “I felt we were lost in everything.”
Freshman Paolo Banchera scored 23 points in the “Blue Devils”, which after the break scored only 42% after moving to “Tar Hills”. But Krzyzewski was particularly disappointed with his team’s performance at the other end.
“They didn’t talk about defense at all,” he said. “So the second half our defense was just awful.”
When the beep sounded, Tar Heels rushed at each other to celebrate on the court, while Caleb Love, who overcame a 0-8 throw and scored 15 of 22 points after the break, rushed crazy.
This also included Krzyzewski, who took the microphone to perform in front of the still full arena before the school ceremony after the game in his honor.
“I’m sorry for his day,” he said, calling the speech “unacceptable.”
It was the first time an unranked North Carolina team had beaten Duke’s top-five team since 1990, since 1990, when Davis was a second-year guard for Tar Heels under the late Hall of Fame Dean Smith.
“We know how good a team we are,” Bacot said. “We sometimes know that we have made mistakes. But we came and knew we would win. “
RJ Davis added 21 points and Brady Manek added 20, the first in program history when Tar Heels had four 20-point scorers in one game.
The big picture
UNC: After a season of shaky performances against top competitions such as Kentucky and Tennessee, Tar Heels fearlessly attacked the rim and demonstrated a competitive fire that was not evident in last month’s 87-67 defeat by the Blue Devils. This is definitely UNC’s best win this season and it has been a significant boost to the NCAA tournament summary.
Duke: The Blue Devils have already won their first title in the ACC regular season since 2006, and have lost only once since mid-January, losing at home to Virginia as a result of a three-pointer at the last second. But this time they failed to capture the rear of the UNC with Lava and Davis – who fought hard against Duke’s pressure defense in the first meeting – and failed to respond when Tar Heels made their move in the final 6 minutes.
UNC led by just two, with 5 1/2 minutes left when they made their move. Davis got Banchero for driving and then Love penetrated to find Manek to give the score a 79-71 lead of 3:52.
Manek also realized one of his five three-pointers at a critical moment, answering one from Moore to maintain the lead at eight and maintain momentum.
Among Duke’s former players were some of the program’s biggest names, such as Grant Hill, Shane Butter, J. J. Radish, Jay Williams, Danny Ferry and Christian Letner.
They gathered to create two lines on the playground – several headed to the student section to make more noise, or to shoot videos on mobile phones – to make a passage for Krzyzewski to walk to the middle of the court to join them for a group photo made of rafters. .
As Krzyzewski held back tears during the anthem and wiped his eyes with a napkin during the final pre-match, assistant head coach John Scheer – appointed Krzyzewski’s successor next season – found a moment to stroke his teacher’s right shin in front of the starting tip.
UNC: Tar Heels hold No. 3 in the ACC tournament in New York and an open game in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Duke: The Blue Devils occupy the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament as well as the open game on Thursday.
Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at https://twitter.com/aaronbeardap
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UNC rival upsets No. 4 Duke in farewell to Cameron coach K :: WRALSportsFan.com
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