North Carolina’s win sets up another classic potential vs. Duke

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It was slow, it was ugly and it was close. Yet No. 7 North Carolina still escaped No. 25 Virginia. Roy Williams probably isn’t happy about it, but he’s certainly relived.

Check out what was working against the Heels in their 54-51 win Saturday.

  • The Cavaliers’ defense harassed leading-scorer Harrison Barnes into a 3-for-15 shooting day (he finished with seven points).
  • Kendall Marshall couldn’t get going, scoring just one point (but did have six assists).
  • UNC forced just four turnovers, the second straight game in which they’ve forced so few. It’s a low for the Roy Williams era.
  • Cavs star Mike Scott finished with just six points on 3-for-13 shooting, yet Virginia was in it until the end.

Yet North Carolina – with big help from John Henson’s double-double and Tyler Zeller’s game-high 20 points, including a crucial dunk with 13.3 seconds left.

That leaves UNC (25-4, 12-2) tied with Duke atop the ACC with two games remaining. (Duke escaped against Virginia Tech earlier Saturday.) And you know what that means.

A showdown’s coming.

Provided the Heels beat Maryland next week and Duke takes care of Wake, the season finale in Durham could provide us with yet another classic game this season. Sounds lovely.

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