Tar Heels earn a win over Duke

Nolan Smith drops 30 but UNC gets the win and regular season title - Lance King Photo

CHAPEL HILL - First of all congrats to North Carolina, they earned that win and outplayed Duke.  Yes Duke lost, 81-67 and the Tar Heels won the ACC Regular season championship, but that is not the one people will remember at years end.  The ACC Tournament winner is crowned ACC Champions and don't be surprised if these two don't hook up again.

The difference was the play of Kendall Marshall who ran his team like a well oiled machine dishing out 15 assists, 6 more than the entire Duke team.  Add that to the fact that only Seth Curry made a three point shot and there is little reason to wonder why Duke lost.  The bottom line is that Duke struggled on offense hitting just 35.5% from the field.

Nolan Smith tried to put his team on his back ending the game with 30 points and solidfying his ACC Player of the Year title in the process.  But every time Duke would make a run, North Carolina had an answer.  With four Tar Heels in double figures and just two Blue Devils, the aforementioned Smith and Curry with 20, well, that was telling too.

Sometimes things just don't work out and that was the case for Duke where key players went 4 for 26 from the field.  Duke also got outscored 44-20 in the paint.  For the Devils to reverse this trend, senior Kyle Singler needs to find his stroke and some offensive production from the bigs is a must.

It was not a pretty sight for Duke fans, the Heels rushing the court but folks, it hurts the most when you are on the top and lose.  Every single opponenet that has beaten Duke in the past two years rushed the court and some of the fair weathered fans flat out need an attitude adjustment.

It's really kind of silly when Duke or North Carolina is down to ridicule them for they have given their fan bases a ton of awesome memories.  There is not much else to say.  We chose not to interview the Duke players in the locker room or Coach Krzyzewski in the press room for most of you don't want to see it and in all honesty, they just wanted to get out of here and prepare for the tournament.

And for those who think Duke is reeling, get real.  Fans from other schools would kill to win 27 games in the regular season and there is no reason to think Duke cannot bounce back.

See you in Greensboro.