Number 3 North Carolina Gets Sweep of Number 4 Duke


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Freshman guard Coby White ignited a second-half surge and finished with 21 points as third-ranked North Carolina defeated fourth-ranked Duke 79-70 to claim a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference title Saturday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.

White scored 12 points in a stretch of a little more than three minutes as the host Tar Heels broke open a close game for a 72-60 advantage.

Virginia wrapped up the ACC Tournament’s top seed earlier in the day by defeating Louisville, but the Tar Heels (26-5, 16-2 ACC) grabbed a piece of the regular-season prize by completing a regular-season sweep of Duke (26-5, 14-4)

North Carolina will be the second seed, while Duke will be the No. 3 seed for the ACC Tournament in Charlotte. There could be a semifinals rematch Friday night.

Senior guard Kenny Williams scored 18 points in his last home game; Cameron Johnson, another senior, netted 14 points, and Garrison Brooks tallied 10 points. Nassir Little scored all nine of his points in the first half for the Tar Heels.

RJ Barrett pumped in 26 points and Cam Reddish scored 17 of his 23 in the first half for Duke.

That duo took a combined 50 of Duke’s 73 shots.

North Carolina led 75-60 with just under seven minutes left, but the Blue Devils trimmed the deficit to 75-70 by the 2:18 mark. Duke could have pulled closer but had two empty possessions before the Tar Heels answered.

Duke played again without freshman forward Zion Williamson, who suffered a knee injury in the opening minute of a Feb. 20 meeting with North Carolina. The Tar Heels won that game 88-72 in Durham, N.C. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has said he expects Williamson to be ready for the ACC Tournament.

Duke lost another player Saturday night when center Marques Bolden crashed to the court about 2 1/2 minutes into the game. He was helped off.

North Carolina went up 52-50, but senior forward Luke Maye was called for his third foul with more than 14 minutes to play.

The Tar Heels rolled anyway, with White hitting a 3-point basket, and then his three-point play made it 61-55 with less than 11 minutes to play.

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