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(1) North Carolina 76, (5) Duke 68

1 2 T
#1 UNC (29-2) 42 34 76
#5 DUKE (26-4) 31 37 68


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Replay on ESPN360
9:00 PM ET, March 8, 2008
Cameron Indoor Stadium
Durham, NC

North Carolina scores final 10 points to overcome Duke

UNC Wins Third Straight at Cameron
Team Stat Comparison
Points 76 68
FG Made-Attempted 31-76 (.408) 25-76 (.329)
3P Made-Attempted 5-11 (.455) 10-29 (.345)
FT Made-Attempted 9-12 (.750) 8-9 (.889)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 13 (0/0) 15 (0/0)
Largest Lead 14 2
Game Leaders
PointsD. Green 18G. Paulus 15
ReboundsT. Hansbrough 15G. Henderson 9
AssistsT. Lawson 3J. Scheyer 4
StealsT. Lawson 3J. Scheyer 1
BlocksD. Green 7G. Henderson 3
 · Team Stats: North Carolina | Duke
Game Flow
2007-08 Season
Feb 6, 2008 DUKE 89, @UNC 78Recap | Box Score
· Mar 8, 2008 UNC 76, @DUKE 68Recap | Box Score
Next 5 Games
 · Complete Schedule: North Carolina | Duke
Atlantic Coast Conference Standings
#1 North Carolina14-229-2
#5 Duke13-326-4
Miami (FL)8-821-9
Virginia Tech9-718-12
Wake Forest7-917-12
Florida State7-918-13
North Carolina State4-1215-15
Georgia Tech7-914-16
Boston College4-1213-16
 · View expanded standings

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Danny Green and North Carolina made themselves comfortable when it counted on Duke's famously hostile home court. Because they did, the top-ranked Tar Heels claimed another league title -- and maybe the inside track to a close-to-home postseason path.

Green had 18 points to make up for a shaky outing last time against the Blue Devils, and North Carolina scored the final 10 points of its 76-68 victory over Duke (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) on Saturday night to claim the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championship.

Tyler Hansbrough finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds while surpassing the 2,000-point mark for his career in his third straight victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and Wayne Ellington added 16 points for the Tar Heels (29-2, 14-2).

Backing It Up

The Tar Heels have been extremely successful against the Blue Devils when ranked No. 1. North Carolina improved to 8-1 all-time when top-ranked against rival Duke with the victory Saturday. Here's the breakdown:

Date Site Results
3/8/08 Away W, 76-68
3/7/93 Home W, 83-69
1/18/86 Home W, 95-92
3/10/84 Neutral* L, 77-75
3/3/84 Home W, 96-83
1/21/84 Away W, 78-73
1/16/82 Away W, 73-63
2/1/57 Away W, 86-72
2/9/57 Home W, 75-73
* ACC tournament

North Carolina blew an early double-figure lead and briefly trailed before closing strong, holding the Blue Devils scoreless for the final 5 1/2 minutes to earn its eighth straight victory and the top seed in the ACC tournament in Charlotte. The win could also be a big step toward the No. 1 seed in the Charlotte-based East Regional.

"Our perimeter guys took it personally tonight," said Green, who was 1-for-10 in the last Duke game. "We wanted to come out and knock down shots, play smarter, play better and take the crowd out of the game. We kept our poise when they came back."

Greg Paulus scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half for the Blue Devils (26-4, 13-3), who rallied from a 14-point first-half hole but missed their final 11 shots in slipping to the No. 2 seed in the league tournament.

Duke had 15 shots blocked -- seven by Green and five by Deon Thompson -- and was held to a season-worst 32.9 shooting in having its four-game winning streak ended and losing at home for the first time since last February's Maryland game.

"We've been drilling [defense] since the first day," coach Roy Williams said. "It's a challenge to try to be a really good defensive team. Sometimes, you get lucky and they miss shots as well. The statistics show that we've gotten better defensively. It's something that you have to be good at if you want to reach those big-time dreams that we have."

Jon Scheyer added 14 points, and his stickback with just over 5 1/2 minutes remaining gave Duke its only lead of the second half at 68-66 -- but that was the Blue Devils' last field goal of the game. Duke had good looks on three straight trips downcourt after that but came up empty on each, and that allowed North Carolina to take control down the stretch.

"I still thought we were doing really good things. We just couldn't get that thing in the hole there," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "We were still making winning plays -- plays that could win. Obviously, they didn't turn out to be winning plays."

Ellington drove the left side for a layup to tie it at 68 with 3 minutes left and start North Carolina's game-closing 10-0 run, and on the next possession Hansbrough stuck back Green's miss to put the Tar Heels ahead to stay. They went on to finish 13-0 in road games and 8-0 in ACC games away from the Smith Center -- both school records.

"We've been there before -- been there plenty of times," Ellington said. "Stay patient and do what we have to do. We stopped them and then executed our offense and pulled out the win."

Ty Lawson, who missed the previous meeting with a sprained left ankle, finished with 10 points for the Tar Heels, who earned their first victory in a winner-take-all regular-season finale with Duke since 1985. They won their 26th regular-season conference championship and third in four years under Williams, and have won three straight at Cameron for the first time since 1994-96.

"I'm undefeated here, and I want to come here and win and keep the streak going," said Lawson, a sophomore.

It was sweet revenge for Ellington and Green, who were roundly blamed for the Tar Heels' 89-78 loss last month in Chapel Hill after they were a combined 4-for-24 shooting in that No. 2-vs-No. 3 matchup. With the stakes even higher, they were significantly sharper, making a combined 14-of-28 attempts.

The Tar Heels raced out to an early 29-15 lead on the strength of Green's hot hand -- he was 6-for-8 at the break.

"They had a tough game the first time we played them," Hansbrough said. "He hit some big shots and that gave him confidence."

Kyle Singler and Gerald Henderson each scored 10 for Duke, which got back in the game by opening the second half on a 17-9 run.

"I think we definitely used too much emotion, just raw emotion, throughout the course of the game," said Duke's DeMarcus Nelson, held to six points on 3-of-12 shooting on Senior Night. "When you play against a team like that, you've got to have some poise. And we stressed coming into this game and approaching it like any other game, and I think everybody was ready to play. But I think we might have played on raw emotion, and it drained us."

Men's Basketball Scores

Other Scores:

Saturday, March 8th
1 North Carolina 76 Final
5 Duke 68
California 80 Final
2 UCLA 81
UAB 56 Final
3 Memphis 94
6 Kansas 72 Final
Texas A&M 55
7 Stanford 64 Final
USC 77
8 Wisconsin 65 Final
Northwestern 52
13 Louisville 52 Final
10 Georgetown 55
Richmond 61 Final
11 Xavier 86
Illinois-Chicago 50 Final
12 Butler 66
Cincinnati Postponed
14 Connecticut
16 Vanderbilt 73 Final
Alabama 78 OT
19 Notre Dame 67 Final
South Florida 60
20 Marquette 72 Final
Syracuse 87
Creighton 67 Final
21 Drake 75
Washington 73 Final
22 Washington St. 76 2OT
24 Brigham Young 61 Final
TCU 54
LSU 75 Final
25 Mississippi State 84