Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
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Zion Williamson puts on a show as Duke nips rival North Carolina

Zion Williamson puts on a show as Duke nips rival North Carolina

ACC championships have been decided and paths to the Final Four cleared.

Buy Duke and UNC via Fanatics and Champs. Johnson shot a 3 with 18 seconds remaining that could've won it, and he was sure it had when it left his hand.

This might have been the rivalry as its most ferocious, as Krzyzewski had words with UNC forward Scott Williams after a Williams foul, Smith had words with Krzyzewski and the players exchanged some bumps and shoves. UNC answered with a Maye putback followed by back-to-back slams by Little - one assisted by White, the other following up on a missed White layup - to tie the game at 52 and force a Duke timeout. Smith, still establishing himself as a head coach, used a slowdown to shorten the game and almost pulled off a huge upset.

That last tip-in helped Duke survive a classic that went down to the final play. The Tar Heels proved they're on level footing with the Blue Devils with Williamson back, but couldn't figure out a way to close it out. Larry Miller was the UNC workhorse and the tournament MVP, hitting 13 of 14 shots in scoring 32 points against the Blue Devils in the final.

David Nichols scored 14 points and No. 12 Florida State knocked off No. 2 Virginia, 69-59, on Friday night to advance to the championship game of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Once again, UNC would move on the Final Four, making it three straight trips.

The Tar Heels shot just 40 percent, including 4 of 27 from 3-point range, against Duke's aggressive defense that played tough after UNC landed an early flurry for the lead. In the tournament, the Tar Heels got an MVP effort from Dudley Bradley to cut down the nets.

DID YOU KNOW: The Duke offense has scored 84.1 points per game this season, ranking the Blue Devils sixth among Division I teams.

UNC responded well to a pair of second-half highlight-reel dunks from Williamson.


North Carolina spurted out to an early 33-20 advantage with the Blue Devils struggling from the field in the opening 10 minutes.

"They were just the tougher team tonight", Cavaliers point guard Ty Jerome said. Both teams made it to the Final Four in Indianapolis.

While this game was obviously different, none of this means the first two rounds of Duke-Carolina don't count.

Same floor, same teams, different result.

The game is scheduled to start around 9 p.m. ET (depending on when Virginia vs Florida State ends) and will be televised on ESPN.

So, yeah, it turns out the Blue Devils missed one of the most dominant college basketball players of the last decade.

Williamson was a star all night with a game-high 31.

Jerome's personal misfortunes continued in the same building, Spectrum Center, where Virginia last season became the first No. 1 seed in NCAA tournament history to lose to a No. 16 seed following a stunning upset by Maryland-Baltimore County, 74-54.

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