UNC Tar Heels (6) vs Duke Blue Devils (2) is the largest rivalry in college basketball, and tonight they meet in the second ACC Tournament Semifinal game. Expect Bagley to have a big game on Friday if Duke plans on winning this contest.
Johnson hit all three of his free throws to give North Carolina a surprising 32-31 lead heading into halftime.
The Blue Devils lost because they attempted 17 fewer shots than North Carolina, in part due to 18 turnovers, matching their most since January 15.
Carolina bounced back from the semifinal loss to Duke in 2017 to win the national championship.
"We kind of played the game in different stages today, and we have to play it at the same stage throughout", Krzyzewski said. I think we have a chance to do well in the tournament. "We're just going to rest up and get ready to play a good team, whoever it is, tomorrow". In the last calendar year there were the epic NCAA Tournament wins over Arkansas and Kentucky, a comeback to win at Tennessee this season, rallying to beat Wake Forest in the ACC opener, exploding in the second half to beat Duke in Chapel Hill or just Thursday, overcoming a 14-0 deficit out of the gate against Miami. The #6 Tar Heels knocked off the #3 Miami Hurricanes 82-65 thanks to a career-high 25 points from senior forward Theo Pinson.
"We've been here before, even with the same team", Pinson said. But Allen's forced three-point attempt never found iron - say what you will about Allen, but he too forced the action and you had to respect that he has spent four years pulling triggers in a rain of boos. It's a big-time game. "I mean, everybody and their mama going to be watching the game tomorrow, everybody knows that". "And when we're playing defense and we're out there just running around and being active and competing-you know, it's hard to stop us".
The Tar Heels had already given up the game's first 12 points by the time Seventh Woods, Andrew Platek, Brandon Robinson, Garrison Brooks and Sterling Manley came off the bench. But with both teams having split two really entertaining regular season matchups, and with both teams putting together such impressive wins in the quarterfinals on Thursday, the 247th head-to-head matchup is especially compelling. The Blue Devils won the most recent matchup 74-64.
Duke got within three at 20-17 with seven minutes left in the first half.
A path to a potential No. 1 seed opened for the nine-loss Tar Heels on Friday when they withstood a late charge from rival Duke in the ACC semifinals and Xavier suffered an upset loss to Providence in the Big East semifinals.
"Bagley, well, he was just the first pick in the (NBA) Draft", Brey said after the game.
While Williams said he has attempted to recruit numerous prolific one-and-done players that end up signing with Duke, he also acknowledged he wouldn't choose to rely so heavily on the one-and-done model that Duke and Kentucky have had so much success with. We can't look ahead.
The year before it was the Tar Heels who took home the ACC crown. "So we have to limit our turnovers and make sure that we're getting great shots on the offensive end". It was the second straight ACC Tournament night the Tar Heels had trouble finding the basket.
North Carolina is 99-45 in the ACC tournament.
But it's the defense that has vaulted the Blue Devils from good to scary over the last month. Bagley was a unanimous first-team All-ACC and ACC All-Freshman selection.