UNC avenges earlier loss, wins ACC crown

Mark Dolejs/US Presswire

North Carolina Tar Heels guard Kendall Marshall (5) and forward Tyler Zeller walk off the floor at Cameron Indoor Stadium as the ACC conference champions.

For the third time in the last five seasons, Duke and North Carolina met in a much-hyped season finale with identical 13-2 ACC records.

And for the third time in the last five seasons, the Tar Heels won the winner-take-all game, beating Duke 88-70 for the outright conference crown.

North Carolina and Duke Tied for ACC Lead
Entering Regular-Season Finale

North Carolina's Kendall Marshall led five Tar Heels in double figures with 20 points and added 10 assists. He's now four assists shy of tying the ACC record for most assists in a single season (303 by Georgia Tech's Craig Neal in 1988).

It's the second time in the past two weeks Marshall has had at least 20 points and 10 assists in a game, also doing so against North Carolina State on Feb. 21 (22 points, 13 assists).

Marshall is the first Tar Heels player in the past decade to reach those totals twice in a season. (Raymond Felton and Ty Lawson did so twice as well, but in different seasons).

No other Tar Heels player has gone for at least 20 points and 10 assists against Duke in the past 15 years.

North Carolina was dominant in the paint, tallying 40 of its 88 points in the paint. They also controlled the glass, outrebounding Duke 45-28, and 32-18 on the defensive glass.

The 18-point win is the largest for North Carolina at Cameron Indoor Stadium since a 20-point win (91-71) on Jan. 18, 1989.

The Tar Heels had a 24-point lead at the half, which tied the fourth-largest halftime deficit Duke has faced in school history. It was the largest deficit Duke has faced at home since trailing by 29 to Tulane back in 1951.

Largest Halftime Deficits
Duke History

At one point, UNC led Duke 22-5 with 11:55 left in the first half. Duke's Miles Plumlee made the only two field goals for Duke at that point, while the rest of the Blue Devils were 0-for-15.

For the game, Miles and Mason Plumlee combined to shoot 14-of-22 from the field, while the rest of the Blue Devils made only 12-of-41.

Duke fell to 13-3 at home, its most home losses in a season since losing four at home in 2006-07.