Matthew Hurt, DJ Steward and Jordan Goldwire were all recognized Monday morning in the annual ACC awards.
It was evident that physicality, or the lack thereof for one team, played a chief role in Duke’s 91-73 loss to North Carolina.
The last time Duke went into Chapel Hill, two buzzer-beaters led the Blue Devils to a miraculous comeback win. But there would be no comeback this time around, as North Carolina held on to a commanding first-half lead to topple Duke 91-73 victory Saturday night in the Dean E. Smith Center.
In the final game of the ACC regular season, the Blue Devils succumbed to a near perfect start from the Tar Heels and trail 42-26 heading to the locker room. Here are five observations from the game’s first half.
Our beat writers are here to make their predictions for the 6 p.m. regular-season finale.
Duke and North Carolina are playing more and more like the blue bloods that they truly are, and are hardly likely to cough the ball up as often as they did in February’s battle.
If there’s one thing the Blue Devils could use, it’s another lights-out shooting night from one of their veterans.
The most significant change since the last time these two teams met is undoubtedly the emergence of big men Walker Kessler and Mark Williams.
Duke’s first match-up with North Carolina was one of its many heartbreaking losses this season, with the Blue Devils falling 91-87 and squandering a chance to tie the game in its final moments.
With the exception of Hurt and Goldwire, the majority of this year’s rotation is expected back in Durham next fall. Each game is a lesson learned for a team still developing every day.
It may not be the NCAA tournament just yet, but it is March. And this game was filled with madness for all 45 minutes.
Duke and Georgia Tech are in the middle of a tight battle, with both squads coming out of the gates playing like two teams who know their NCAA tournament hopes are heavily riding on this game.
The Yellow Jackets are on a four-game win streak and coming off big victories against No. 22 Virginia Tech and Syracuse, so Duke will have to be ready for a hardfought matchup.
If the Blue Devils are to survive the fourth-highest scoring offense in the ACC, they are going to need Goldwire to limit their productivity and efficiency.
During his short time in Durham, Cassius Stanley dazzled Blue Devil fans with his jaw-dropping athleticism and highlight-reel dunks. Now, he'll have a chance to show off that flair for the spectacular on NBA All-Star weekend.
With just two games left in the regular season, the Blue Devils’ postseason outlook is not ideal and Duke’s lack of success begs the question: What will it take to make the tournament?
The best game of Matthew Hurt’s career wasn’t enough. Somehow, Hurt’s career-high 37 points didn’t end in a Duke victory in Saturday night's overtime thriller. A Louisville team led by superior perimeter play and relentless offensive rebounding escaped Cameron Indoor Stadium with an 80-73 win in a game that carried serious implications for a coveted at-large bid in the NCAA tournament.