Thursday, February 9, 2012


In the words of loyal reader @mpenz21, "welcome to the Duke-UNC Rivalry, Austin Rivers." The only thing that would have made last night's ONIONS moment better, would have been if Bill Raftery was on the call....(check that, two things would have made it better) and if Rivers pulled a Sam Cassell and did the big marbles dance after he hit the shot.

Just in case you missed it live, like @bradsmit did, here's Rivers firmly planting himself into the greatest moments of the Duke-UNC Rivalry.

Let's say this first. Unbelievable individual performance from freshman Austin Rivers last night. Check out this line: 39 minutes (out of 40), 29 points on 9-16 shooting, including 6-10 from behind the arc. Also chipped in with 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal.

Now, let's really look at what happened in the last few minutes of last night's game. Bottom line, North Carolina should have never lost that game, especially on their home court.

  • Duke went on a 13-2 run to end the game.
  • Seth Curry got a way with a walk prior to hitting a three with 1:48 left, which brought Duke to within four points.
  • Tyler Zeller not only scored in his own basket (accidentally tipped in an errant three pointer) in the final 20 seconds to cut the UNC lead to 1 point, but he also missed a a free throw with 13.9 seconds left, which would have given the Tar Heels a 3 point lead (Zeller actually went 2-4 from the line in the final 44 seconds of the game). Oh, and he also was the one guarding Rivers when he hit the three, giving him too much space for Rivers to get a great look at the game winner. Zeller, who picked up Rivers on the switch, needed to guard him closely and make sure he didn't get off a three. Even if Rivers goes around you, the worst thing that happens is he hits a two and we are going to overtime. Definitely a final few minutes that Zeller will want to forget.
  • 2:35. That was the point at which UNC scored their last FG of the game, a Harrison Barnes jumper.
  • In the final 4 minutes of the game, Duke had 3 offensive rebounds and a steal, which directly led to 10 points. 
Remember before the season when everyone thought North Carolina wouldn't lose a game? Barnes, Henson, Zeller returning, a couple of McDonald's All-Americans coming in. Well the Tar Heels are now 20-4, 7-2 in the ACC (same exact record for Duke). Their first conference loss was a 33 point loss at Florida State three and a half weeks ago. Their second came last night, at home, to their biggest rival, after blowing an 11 point lead in the final 3:54. This was is going to sting...for a while.

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