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Off the cuff: Yes it was a hard-fought, tremendous, fun-to-watch game. But why do officials call the Carolina-Duke game so much differently than other games? There is no excuse for Tyler Hansbrough not getting to the line. That was ridiculous. I know it's called the same both ways but a big part of Tyler's game is getting to the foul line. Had you told me he would not score from the foul line, I would say Duke would win by double figures.

I predicted Carolina would win by 10 but I got a little scared when I heard that the Vegas line was Duke by four. What did they know that I didn't? Nothing evidently.

Did you happen to see that voters in every state but one on ESPN's poll picked Carolina to beat Duke? That one state was - Kansas. Boy, they really hate Roy don't they? As my first grade teacher, Mrs. Lassiter, used to exclaim, "immature, immature, immature!"

This was the third straight victory by the Heels in Cameron. Take that Crazies. You know, that schtick has grown old and the Crazies' antics don't scare this new breed of ball player. Like the Crazies, they thrive on attention and love being hated. Have your self indulgence if you want Dookies but you have been rendered inconsequential. The media will keep talking about you and that's probably all you want - the attention. I tell you what, the Duke fans can have all the attention and the Carolina fans can enjoy most of the victories. This was the fifth win for the Heels in the last seven games against Duke.

Duke can beat the Heels, however, even with Lawson back. The Devils just need to hit more threes. They had 13 the first time when they won and 10 this time. Three more and they'd have won this time. It could well come down to Duke and Carolina in the ACC tournament finals. One TV announcer said he thought the home team had the most pressure when these two teams play. If that's true, Carolina will have more fans at the ACC finals if they make it that far. Since the Crazies won't be there in mass, sucking up all the air in the joint, Duke could win.

Carolina would probably be best served if Duke did not make it to the finals. That way, even if the Heels lost the tournament championship game - again if they are fortunate enough to make it that far - they would probably still get the top seed in the Raleigh/Charlotte NCAA regional.

My family's prayers are with the family of Eve Carson.

Heels 76, Blue Devils 68
Carolina scores final 10 points to beat Duke, win ACC

UNC lost a big halftime lead and trailed Duke 68-66 with just more than three minutes to go but the Tar Heels scored the game's final 10 points to beat the Blue Devils 76-68 in Durham. (3/8)

The win gives the Heels the ACC regular season title. While offensive runs helped win the game, defense and key blocked shots might have wrapped it up. A few of the Heels 15 blocks came in the last 5:42, during which time the Devils did not score. In fact, Duke did not score on its last 11 possessions.

With Duke ahead 68-66, Carolina scored its first basket in almost five minutes on a Wayne Ellington drive and short bank shot to make it 68-68. With 2:05 to go, Tyler Hansbrough hit a tough follow shot to give Carolina the lead at 70-68.

Duke's Greg Paulus, who had been hot, badly missed a three-point attempt with 1:53 to go. Marcus Ginyard got the rebound, was triple teamed and was called for a controversial travel. But Duke could not score.

Ty Lawson was fouled and sank two free throws with 1:31 left. Half a minute later Lawson came up with a steal but missed on the fast break. Danny Green was right there for the tip follow to put the Heels up 74-68 with 50 seconds left.

Green, who had seven blocked shots, came back with an open court dunk with 30 seconds to go to finish out the scoring.

In the first half, Duke led in the first minute but that was it as Carolina got up by double figures when Danny Green, who scored 14 first-half points, nailed a three from the left side midway through the half to give the Heels a 20-9 lead.

Following a pair of free throws by Wayne Ellington with 5:18 left in the opening half, the Heels had their biggest lead of the game at 29-15. But then Greg Paulus went crazy from outside, similar to what he did to the Heels in the first meeting between the two teams. Paulus drilled four three pointers in less than four minutes.

One Paulus triple cut the lead to five but Ellington quickly answered at the other end with a three of his own. A montrous dunk by Green on the fast break put the Heels back up by 10 at 36-26. Carolina led by 11 at 42-31 at the half.

There were few fouls called in the game and amazingly Hansbrough, who has averaged more than 10 made free throws a game, did not even go to the foul line. "It was frustrating, especially as physical as the game was," Hansbrough said in the lockerroom. Carolina shot only 12 free throws as a team. "They allowed the kids to play," Coach Williams said of the officiating.

Carolina survived several Duke runs in the second half and didn't fall behind until Jon Scheyer scored on a driving layup following an unforced turnover by UNC's Quentin Thomas. But UNC clamped down on defense and made that 10-0 run to end the game.

The Tar Heels held the Blue Devils to 32.9 percent from the field, Duke's lowest output of the season. Carolina also outrebounded the Devils 53-44 although a rash of Duke offensive rebounds got the Devils back in the game early in the second half.

Green led the Tar Heels with 18 points while Hansbrough and Ellington got 16 each. Lawson finished with 10. Paulus led Duke with 15 points while Scheyer tallied 14. Kyle Singler and Gerald Henderson had 10 each. DeMarcus Nelson, on his senior night, only had six points on a three for 12 effort.

The Tar Heels finish the regular season with a 29-2 record overall and a 14-2 mark in the conference, good enough for the top seed in the ACC tourney. The Heels went undefeated on the road this season including 8-0 in the ACC. Duke finished second in the ACC with a 26-4 and 13-3 record.

Check out the game box score and a game photo gallery.
Take a look at other game articles.
Read my Tar Heels' season preview on WRAL.com by clicking here.

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