North Carolina basketball failed to sweep the season series from Duke on Saturday night, falling to the Blue Devils 74-64 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Tar Heels held a 42-29 lead with just over 3 minutes played in the second half and threatened to put the Blue Devils away. But a 23-10 run put Duke in front 52-50 with 9½ minutes to go in regulation. After Theo Pinson’s bucket tied the score at 60 with 6½ minutes left, the Blue Devils went ahead for good with Trevon Duval’s basket 6 seconds later.
The Tar Heels made just 1 field goal the rest of the way, going scoreless over the game’s final 3:19 as Duke polished off the home court win with a 14-4 run.
North Carolina was 8-for-31 shooting from 3-point range. It shot just 37 percent and only got to the free-throw line 5 times. More important, its late-game swoon turned out to be the difference.
Here’s what North Carolina coach Roy Williams had to say after a disappointing loss to end the regular season:
On his team’s second-half performance: “I think some aliens crawled into my guys’ bodies in the second half, because that wasn’t the North Carolina team that I’ve seen all year. I congratulate Duke — they kicked our butts in the second half. Not much you can say.”
On the number of 3-point attempts his team took, as well as the open looks they missed: “I wanted a few more inside, there’s no question about that. I don’t like shooting 31 3s. We’ve been working all year to try to get more stuff inside.
“During that stretch where the game changed, I liked the shots we were getting. At the end, I didn’t like the shots we were getting. But I didn’t like their stupid turnovers down the stretch, either.”
On Duke freshman Marvin Bagley III: “He’s 6[-foot]-11, athletic as all get out, has long arms. He’s a heck of a basketball player. I don’t have anyone like that. … He’s a young man with some great gifts, and has worked awfully hard to use those gifts. There’s not many people like him.”