In many ways, Duke had no business beating North Carolina tonight. The Blue Devils made some of the most unbelievable plays we’ve seen this year, with the clock winding down at the end of regulation and overtime, to steal one in Chapel Hill.
The Tar heels led by nine at the half, and looked to have control of the game throughout. Vernon Carey was incredible for Duke in the first half, but he was the only one doing much of anything. The Tar Heels, led by Cole Anthony, played the much better half, and led in just about every category outside of free throw shooting.
Strangely, it was a pair of missed free throws by the normally reliable Tre Jones that set up both miraculous shots. The first was intentional; the star guard sent a hard ricochet off the rim, caught the rebound himself, dribbled it around, and drained a long two-point shot to tie the game at 84 and send things to overtime. Somehow, it may only be the second biggest play of the game.
Down 96-95 with 6.6 seconds left in the overtime, Jones clearly had incentive to hit his free throws this time. He made the first, but missed the second. A huge Wendell Moore tapout was recovered by Jordan Goldwire near midcourt. He found Jones who heaved up a one-legged runner from just inside the three-point arc. This time, it wasn’t good, but Moore came flying in, and had an incredible putback drop in for the win at the buzzer.
It doesn’t get better than this… unless you’re a Tar Heel.
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) February 9, 2020
Duke moves to 20-3 with the win, while the Tar Heels fall to a rough 10-13. While Duke’s missed free throws led to the game’s highlights, North Carolina ultimately lost this one at the charity stripe.
Duke was 26-for-34 on the game, while UNC could only hit 55.3-percent, finishing 21-of-38 in the game. Both teams were dreadful from three, but UNC outshot Duke from the floor 52.2-percent to 42.5.
Roy Williams has had some brutal days this season, as his team struggles to approach .500. You have to feel for him after this one.