Duke held a seven-point lead at the half in tonight’s Tobacco Road battle, and things looked like they would play out largely the way the season has gone for the two rivals. UNC was playing a fairly good game, but the team had struggled to take advantage of opportunities at the free throw line, and Duke took advantage.
Tar Heel guard Marcus Paige, who was quiet in the first half, took over the game down the stretch, and reversed North Carolina’s fortunes. He made a number of big shots as the game wound down, and finished with 13 points. Reserve guard Nate Britt came in late after Brice Johnson fouled out, and hit six huge free throws to clinch the game for the Heels.
UNC’s win was pretty surprising, but the biggest shock may have been what transpired immediately after the final whistle, when Tar Heels fans stormed the court.
The loss takes a bit of juice out of this weekend’s top-five match-up between Duke and Syracuse, who lost to unranked Boston College last night, in Durham on Saturday. UNC, on the other hand, continues to roll after a poor start to the season. They host Wake Forest on Saturday.