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Off the cuff: That's a Senior Night that will be remembered for a while. Not only was it the last home Carolina game for Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks, Nate Britt, Stilman White and Kanler Coker, it was likely the last home game for junior Justin Jackson and perhaps Joel Berry.

It was disappointing that ESPN chose to run commercials and a video rather than show the brief ceremony for the seniors and the introductions of the starting lineup - which included all five seniors.

Britt, in a post-game speech, said that his four years went by extremely fast. He said he wore No. 0 because he was always counted out but that after his career at UNC, he would never wear the number again.

Meeks thanked everyone from the managers and coaches to the fans and his teammates. He was most emotion when talking about his sometimes troubled relationship with Coach Williams and his friendship with Britt. He also thanked Coach Davis for helping bring him closer to God.

All the speakers mentioned how the Tar Heels went undefeated at home this season and that it was one of their goals.

In a regular ACC season that began with a lackluster loss at Georgia Tech, the Tar Heels ended up winning the league - likely the best in the country and during one of the best ACC campaigns ever - by two games.

Duke's Grayson Allen picked up a dead ball technical foul for a deliberate elbow to the head of Brandon Robinson, who an instant earlier been charged with a foul on Allen. It turned out a wash as Allen hit both free throws and Joel Berry hit both technical free throw shots.


Tar Heels 90, Duke 83
Heels get revenge on Duke on Sr. Night

After 23 lead changes, North Carolina was able to take a lead on a Justin Jackson three with 5:22 left and never trailed again as the Tar Heels got revenge for an earlier loss to Duke with a hard-fought 90-83 win over the Blue Devils. (3/4)

The Tar Heels, 14-4 in the ACC, came into the game knowing it had already won the regular season championship outright following a Notre Dame loss to Louisville. Duke was playing for a fourth seed and a first-round bye in the ACC tourney.

But Carolina, UNC's Joel Berry said, "wanted to get revenge."

Berry led the way with 28 points including hitting all five of his three-point attempts. Equally important for the Tar Heels, Isaiah Hicks, who was out injured the first time the two teams met, scored 21 points and hauled in nine rebounds in the senior's last game at the Smith Center.

After Jackson's three - which was his first of the game after missing his first six - put the Tar Heels up 74-71, he passed to Hicks who converted an old-fashioned three-point play to give Carolina its biggest lead to that point at 77-71 with 5:22 left.

Duke got the margin down to one on a three by Grayson Allen but a Berry drive-by layup with 3:38 left put the Heels back up by three.

Berry bookended two missed free throws by Allen with a long two and and banked floater to put Carolina up 85-79 with just 1:38 to go.

A Luke Kennard three-point play after an ill-advised foul by Theo Pinson narrowed the lead to 86-83 with 24.6 seconds left.

A Jackson fast break layup on one end and a Kennedy Meeks block on the other end wrapped up the Tar Heels' victory.

Over the last six minutes, the Heels hit eight of their 11 shots and four of their five free throw shots and did not turn the ball over. Meanwhile the Devils missed eight of their 11 shots over the same time period and converted only five of nine free throws to go with two turnovers.

Duke shot 14 more free throws than the Heels and, for a while, it looked like that might make the difference. The Devils hit 16 of their first 17 free throws but the late misses hurt and they finished 28 of 35 from the line.

There were 14 ties before Carolina, who led just 48-46 at the half, went on that late 19-12 run to win by seven.

UNC coach Roy Williams is known for not watching the scoreboard but it was different this game. "I even looked at the score three or four times today," he said.

Coach Williams pointed to Jackson's three and Berry drive-by layup as perhaps the biggest plays of the game. "Big-time players have to make big-time plays in big-time games," he said.

The difference in this game and the first time the two teams met came down to three-point differentials and inside play.

In the first game, Duke hit 13 threes compared to just four for UNC. This time Duke only hit one more three than Carolina (7-6).

North Carolina had 18 more points in the paint (44-26) than Duke. While Coach Williams refused to blame Hicks' absence from the first matchup as the deciding factor, he did admit that the Tar Heels "are better when Isaiah is playing and playing well."

Kennard finished with 28 points to lead the Blue Devils who fall to 23-8 overall and 11-7 in the ACC.

The Tar Heels, who improve to 26-6 overall, plays Thursday at noon in the ACC Tournament against the winner of the Syracuse-Miami game.

Box Score

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