Duke vs. UNC: Regular Season Title, ACC Tournament No. 1 Seed Goes to Tar Heels

Brad FrankCorrespondent IMarch 5, 2011

CHAPEL HILL, NC - MARCH 05:  Miles Plumlee #21 of the Duke Blue Devils tries to stop Leslie McDonald #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at the Dean E. Smith Center on March 5, 2011 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Trailing 51-39 at halftime Saturday at North Carolina, Duke found itself in a similar situation to the first matchup in Durhamwhen Duke was losing by 14 points, 43-29, at the half.

Duke rallied in the first matchup to win by six, 79-73.

Three minutes into the second half, Duke cut the halftime lead to five, 51-46, but a 9-2 run by North Carolina quickly restored its 12-point halftime lead.

North Carolina led by no fewer than eight the rest of the waytopping the Blue Devils, 81-67.

The Blue Devils managed just one field goal in the final 10 minutes of the second half.

The win gives North Carolina (24-6, 14-2 ACC) the regular season conference championship.

The previous matchup broke a tie atop the ACC, with Duke giving the Tar Heels their second conference loss.

The win makes North Carolina the No. 1 seed in this week's ACC Tournament. The Tar Heels won the conference tournament in 2007 and 2008both times as the No. 1 seed.

With the loss, Duke enters the conference tournament losing two of its last three games. The Blue Devils have won the last two ACC Tournaments.

North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall orchestrated an efficient Tar Heel offensive production.

The freshman scored 15 points and dished out 10 assists. Fellow freshman Harrison Barnes tallied 18 points off the bench.

National player of the year candidate Nolan Smith put up 30 points for Duke, while Seth Curry went 6-of-11 from three-point range on his way to 20 points.

Duke (27-4, 13-3 ACC) struggled from the field for the duration of the game, particularly from the beyond the arc, making just 6-of-28 three-pointers.