LIVE BLOG: No. 2 Duke 75, No. 1 North Carolina 58 (FINAL)

Duke 75-58, END OF GAME: Mason Plumlee puts the exclamation point on a resounding victory and the Blue Devils are champions of the ACC for the third straight season. Krzyzewski took out his seniors with 40 seconds to go to give them the ovation they deserved after outstanding performances on both ends of the floor. Check back here and for postgame coverage.

Duke 71-56, SECOND HALF 3:33 remaining: The Tar Heels made a mini-run and had a chance to cut the lead to seven on a long 3-pointer from Barnes, but the freshman missed and Curry responded with a three of his own. That six-point swing, combined with a corner three from Kelly that had Krzyzewski off his rocker in excitement, has Duke sitting pretty as we wind down here in Greensboro. The difference right now is that Duke is hitting some long-range shots, something the Blue Devils couldn't do eight days ago in Chapel Hill.

Duke 61-49, SECOND HALF 7:52 remaining: North Carolina is as close as it has been in about 10 minutes, and the Blue Devils can point to some poor foul shooting. Duke is 6-of-12 from the free throw line, including a combined 1-for-6 from the Plumlee brothers. They have missed 3-of-4 free throws in this last stretch as the Tar Heels chip back. Duke's offense looks a little stagnant right now. On the last play, Smith missed a very open three, one that he didn't seem to want to take but had to because there was little movement off the ball and everyone else was closely guarded.

Duke 56-41, SECOND HALF 11:29 remaining: The frenetic pace continues for both teams, but Duke's defense remains strong. The Tar Heels have been getting some second shot opportunities, but the Blue Devils are still in position to contest those looks. Zeller is the main source of offense for North Carolina so Duke is throwing multiple bodies at him to deny entry passes and frustrate him once he gets the ball, evidenced by Miles Plumlee's most recent steal from Zeller in the paint.

Duke 49-34, SECOND HALF 15:58 remaining: Miles Plumlee continues his solid effort with a strong post move on Zeller to extend Duke's lead. Marshall still looks flustered for Carolina, and both his passes and his shots seem a little wild. Barnes hit his first jumper of the afternoon, taking advantage of being guarded by Smith for a brief spell and easily shooting over him.

Duke 44-32, SECOND HALF 17:23 remaining: The last thing Duke wants is for Barnes to get going, and Krzyzewski has called a quick timeout to likely remind his team of that fact. The ACC Freshman of the Year missed his first three of the half, but on the next play found himself guarded by the smaller Curry. He exploited the mismatch and got all the way to basket without the ball and then followed up Henson's miss with a layup. North Carolina already has four offensive rebounds in his half.


  • North Carolina is shooting 30 percent from the field to 62 percent for the Blue Devils, both figures which cannot be expected to hold up for the remainder of the game.
  • John Henson is 2-of-9 from the field, with many misses coming near the basket due to the strong post defense from the Plumlee brothers, Singler and Ryan Kelly.
  • Duke is leading the rebounding battle 18-17.
  • Smith leads all scorers with 10 points. Zeller isn't far behind with nine on 3-of-5 shooting.
  • Curry, who had at least 20 points in the team's first two meetings, has been limited due to foul trouble and has three points in only nine minutes of action.
  • Dawkins and Kelly have ably filled in off the bench, combining for 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

North Carolina took commanding leads into halftime in each of the two regular season contests but lost one of those games anyway. Furthermore, the Tar Heels have made a habit in this Tournament of spotting their opponents generous halftime leads and have found a way to come back twice already. The Blue Devils also haven't been able to put away opponents until late into games the past two days, something North Carolina could capitalize on.

Duke 42-26, END OF FIRST HALF: Duke showed no signs of letting up at the end of the half. A furious Miles Plumlee dunk to follow Smith's miss on a floater capped a 7-2 run and was indicative of the strong finishes the Blue Devil big men have had around the basket all day. Smith is doing an excellent job of drawing defenders as he gets into the lane and flipping the ball to his frontcourt or kicking it out to open shooters, like Andre Dawkins, who has nine points off of threes. Nevertheless, Duke can't be pleased with the final thirty or so seconds of the period, as Justin Knox responded to Plumlee's dunk with a thunderous slam of his own. Then, Smith turned the ball over with just a few ticks left, Singler inadvertently fouled McDonald on the break and the Tar Heel guard sank both free throws with 0.6 seconds on the clock to complete a 4-0 mini-run.

Duke 35-21, FIRST HALF 3:36 remaining: You knew it couldn't be too long before Seth Curry made his mark on this game, and he finally hit his first three to give Duke a then-16-point lead. He followed that up with a steal on Zeller right underneath the North Carolina basket to prevent an easy follow, a risky play considering Curry already has two fouls. Smith is still carrying the scoring load with 10 points, three coming on a lucky bank 3-pointer that he forced to avoid the shot clock violation.

Duke 27-13, FIRST HALF 7:36 remaining: Duke has opened up a double-digit lead, but everyone in the building knows that the Tar Heels know how to come back from big deficits. They'll start their rally at the free throw line, as they are already in the single bonus. North Carolina can be encouraged that Barnes, Tyler Zeller and Marshall are finally on the board. Marshall looked out of sorts early, and still has been a little shaky with his ball-handling, but he is the Tar Heels' only option now that Strickland has three fouls. Zeller has also found a rhythm in the post and his hook shot is starting to fall.

Duke 17-8, FIRST HALF 11:49 remaining: The Blue Devils are doing an excellent job on defense, and that has all started with Kyle Singler. The senior forward has hounded Barnes very effectively without fouling, and the freshman is scoreless on four shot attempts. Furthermore, Singler is preventing the Tar Heels--the leading rebounding team in the nation--from getting second shot opportunities by boxing out. He's been a force on the boards with four rebounds thus far. Offensively, the Plumlee brothers are still doing their best to clean up misses and generate second chances. Something to note -- Singler started the game being defended by John Henson while Barnes guarded Seth Curry, who has torched North Carolina in each of the past two meetings. But with Curry on the bench with two fouls, Barnes has gone back to covering Singler, who doesn't seem nearly as comfortable against Barnes as he did against the less speedy Henson. The Blue Devils have already been called for six fouls while the Tar Heels have been charged with three. Emphasis on the word "charged", because two of the calls have been for charges, one reversing a monster dunk by Dexter Strickland.

Duke 8-3, FIRST HALF 15:58 remaining: North Carolina has gotten off to slow starts in each of its last two games, and that trend has not reversed itself today. Duke is putting heavy pressure on the ball, so much so that Roy Williams has already removed his normally steady point guard, Kendall Marshall, in favor of the more veteran Leslie McDonald. The Blue Devils are also doing a good job of corralling Harrison Barnes, who lit up this building yesterday to the tune of 40 points. On offense, Nolan Smith is being his usual aggressive self and getting into the lane at will. He hasn't scored yet, but he has created opportunities for the Plumlee brothers, who have six of Duke's eight points. Of potential concern, however, is the Blue Devils' foul trouble. They have already been whistled for four fouls, and Miles Plumlee currently sits on the bench with two.

STARTERS: No surprises here, although it is odd to see Duke wearing its blue uniforms this late in March.

North Carolina--F Harrison Barnes, C Tyler Zeller, F John Henson, G Dexter Strickland, G Kendall Marshall

Duke--F Kyle Singler, F Miles Plumlee, C Mason Plumlee, G Seth Curry, G Nolan Smith

MORE PREGAME: Krzyzewski just walked onto the court, and the boos were almost deafening. Other than a concentrated section of Duke fans right behind the team bench, there still isn't a whole of Duke blue in this stadium. I'd wager it's about an 4-1 ratio of Tar Heel to Blue Devil fans.

PREGAME: We're back at Greensboro Coliseum for the title game of the ACC Tournament featuring No. 1 seed North Carolina against No. 2 Duke. The two teams split their two meetings this season, each squad taking the game on its home court. The Tar Heels came out to quite the ovation from the Greensboro crowd while the Blue Devils got their fair share of boos in what will likely be anything but a neutral court. Freshman Kyrie Irving warmed up with the team when Duke first came out but is not on the court for this current round of shooting drills. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski gave no indication that Irving would play this weekend, so our best bet is still that the point guard will not play in the game today.


Share and discuss “LIVE BLOG: No. 2 Duke 75, No. 1 North Carolina 58 (FINAL)” on social media.