Duke edges North Carolina 74-73

No. 20 Duke won Round 1 of the most heated rivalry in college basketball by defeating No. 5 North Carolina at the Dean Smith Center 74-73 despite only having seven healthy bodies available. Grayson Allen led the Blue Devils with 23 points and freshman Brandon Ingram added 20 points and 10 rebounds.

For most of the game, it looked as though the Tar Heels’ depth would lead them to a home victory. Senior forward Brice Johnson was unstoppable, finishing with 29 points and 19 rebounds, but UNC’s guards just couldn’t get the job done. Marcus Paige and Joel Berry II shot a combined 4 of 22 from the field and the Tar Heels were just 1 of 13 from downtown as a team despite running even with Duke in every other department.

Because when push came to shove, it was luck that put Duke over in the end. With UNC up 73-72 with just over a minute remaining, Berry fouled Allen. Allen then sunk both of his free throws and after Duke got the rebound following a missed layup by Kennedy Meeks shortly thereafter, all that the Blue Devils had to do was run the clock out and hope that UNC missed any shots after the fact, not to mention rabid UNC fans imploring Williams to call a timeout in the meantime. Berry’s potentially game-winning jump shot was blocked by Derryck Thornton with five seconds remaining, and the rest is history.

Both teams played well and it was anybody’s game for much of the second half, but luck just happened to be on the Blue Devils’ side tonight. Duke next takes on Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday, while North Carolina will host red hot Miami on the same day.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

Penn State holds off Iowa, wins 79-75
Penn State holds off Iowa, wins 79-75