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Top 13 Duke-UNC Games Of All Time
Courtesy: John Roth, GoDuke The Magazine
Release: 02/11/2009
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Dick Groat is carried off the court following his record-setting 48-point performance against North Carolina on Feb. 29, 1952. The Blue Devils routed the Tar Heels, 94-64, in Groat’s final home game.
Photo Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
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Record-Setting Day
Feb. 29, 1952

DURHAM– In his final home appearance, guard Dick Groat hit 19 of 37 field goals and 10 of 11 free throws for 48 points (then a record) to pace a 94–64 destruction of North Carolina. The effort bested his previous school mark of 46 set two weeks earlier, as well as the Big Four mark of 47 held by N.C. State’s Sam Ranzino.
 
Groat’s parents and two sisters arrived from Pennsylvania just before tipoff to see him pump in 17 points as Duke opened up a huge halftime lead. When UNC rallied to within 58–50 in the second half, Groat promptly hit eight straight shots to help his team regain control. Scoring 22 points in the fourth quarter, he was removed from the game with 15 seconds left to a prolonged standing ovation from the crowd of 7,000.
 
Groat broke down in tears as his teammates swarmed him, and again in the locker room as he accepted congratulations from the Blue Devils and Tar Heels for the second-highest-scoring game in Southern Conference history. Before leaving the floor at the end of the game, Groat took the microphone and spoke to the crowd, a senior tradition that remained popular fifty years later.
 
“As captain of the team, I would like to thank you fans for your support during the season,” he said. “We are sorry that we lost five games but we hope we can win the conference championship for you.”
 
Groat’s scoring record was not the only significant achievement in the contest. Sophomore forward Bernie Janicki collected an astonishing total of 31 rebounds, a single-game school record that still stands.

Duke (94) – Janicki 13, Fleming 6, Crowder 7, Groat 48, D’Emilio 14, Deimling, Latimer, Glasow 2, Lacy, Johnson 4, Shabel
North Carolina (64) – Lifson 16, Wallace 5, Deasy 21, Grimaldi 3, Phillips 6, Gaines, Likins 3, Schwartz 1, Redding, Taylor 9

Fabulous Fred
March 2, 1968
 
DURHAM – Fred Lind had scored only 12 points all year, but his work off the bench in the Duke-Carolina game in 1968 turned him into a legendary figure in Blue Devil basketball history.
 
A 6–8 junior forward, Lind hadn’t seen a minute of action against UNC since scoring 20 points on the Tar Heel junior varsity his freshman year. But with star center Mike Lewis plagued by foul trouble, coach Vic Bubas called Lind’s number and saw his reserve make play after play in an 87–86 triple-overtime thriller that some regard as the most exciting Duke-Carolina game ever staged at the Indoor Stadium.
 
Lind played 31 minutes, scored 16 points, and had nine rebounds. When Lewis fouled out with 3:54 to go, Lind went the rest of the way. He hit a pair of foul shots at the end of regulation to force overtime, and knocked down an 18-footer with seven seconds left in the first OT to force the second one. He came up with several key rebounds in the second OT. In the final five minutes he nailed a hook shot, blocked a shot by the Tar Heels, and grabbed another critical rebound—all to the delight of his fellow students, who carried him on their shoulders when he was the last to emerge from the locker room.

Duke (87) – Kennedy 14, Vandenberg 13, Lewis 18, Golden 13, Wendelin 8, Lind 16, Barone 5, Claiborne, Kolodziej, Teer
North Carolina (86) – Miller 15, Scott 14, Clark 15, Bunting 14, Grubar 17, Brown 9, Fogler 2

Bubas Says Goodbye
March 1, 1969

 
DURHAM – An unheralded Duke team with a 12–12 record pulled off a major upset, defeating second-ranked North Carolina 87–81 in coach Vic Bubas’s last game at the Indoor Stadium.
 
Senior Steve Vandenberg, relegated to reserve duty for much of his final year, had a Senior Day to remember with a career high of 33 points. He made 10 of 14 field goals and 13 of 13 foul shots while also claiming 12 rebounds. He had plenty of help from four other seniors, as Fred Lind, Dave Golden, C. B. Claiborne, and Warren Chapman all had Duke at an emotional peak.
 
Duke was able to ride that momentum to the ACC Tournament, where it reached the championship game and had a nine-point halftime lead on UNC until Charlie Scott erupted to save the Tar Heels.

Duke (87) – Vandenberg 33, Lind 18, Denton 6, Golden 10, DeVenzio 13, Chapman 5, Claiborne 2
North Carolina (81) – Bunting 15, Scott 22, Clark 11, Grubar 16, Fogler 6, Dedmon 10, Delany 1, Brown, Tuttle

Dedication Day
Jan. 22, 1972

 
DURHAM – On the day Duke renamed its stadium in honor of retiring athletics director Eddie Cameron, the Blue Devils enjoyed one of their most dramatic and exciting finishes to beat North Carolina 76–74.
 
The Tar Heels were ranked No. 3 in the nation while the Devils owned a record of 7–6. But that meant nothing in this rivalry, especially when senior Rob West hit a free throw in the final minute to put Duke on top 74–72. The Heels tied the score, but Duke got the ball with 13 seconds left.
 
After a timeout, the Devils inbounded the ball with eight seconds remaining. West took it at midcourt, proceeded to the top of the key, and launched the shot heard ’round the world. It dropped through with three seconds to play. When a last-gasp jumper by UNC bounced off the rim, Duke owned a home-court win over its biggest rival for the fifth straight season.
 
“I can still remember sitting in the locker room after the game with the net around my neck,” West said over thirty years later. “What a great way to win the Duke-Carolina game.”

Duke (76) – O’Connor 24, Redding 24, Shaw 6, Melchionni 12, West 10, Burdette, Yarbrough
North Carolina (74) – Chamberlain 11, Wuycik 23, McAdoo 3, Karl 14, Previs 4, Johnston 8, Jones 5, Huband 3, Corson 3, O’Donnell, Hite, Chambers

Air Ball!
Feb. 24, 1979
 
DURHAM – In perhaps the most unusual game in the history of Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke topped North Carolina 47–40 to claim a share of the ACC regular-season championship.
 
The first half couldn’t have been stranger. After Duke scored first to take a 2–0 lead, UNC opted to hold the ball. While the Blue Devils sat back in their customary zone defense, the Tar Heels—ranked fourth in the country—played keep-away for 11 straight minutes before attempting a shot. They also committed a few turnovers, and by halftime Duke owned a 7–0 lead. UNC had just two field-goal attempts in the half, and neither touched the rim. The first, by center Rich Yonakor, prompted the now-famous “Airball” chant by the Duke students.
 
The Tar Heels abandoned their stall strategy in the second half, which was played at a normal pace. In fact, it was an even 40–40 game over the last 20 minutes. Duke’s seven first-half points made the difference, enabling beloved captain Jim Spanarkel and his classmates to go home happy on Senior Day.

Duke (47) – Taylor 2, Dennard 5, Gminski 9, Spanarkel 17, Bender 5, Banks 5, Harrell 2, Gray 2, Goetsch
North Carolina (40) – Wood 12, O’Koren 6, Budko, Bradley 2, Colescott 4, Virgil 8, Doughton 6, Wolf 2, Yonakor, Black, Wiel

Storybook Ending
Feb. 28, 1981

 
DURHAM – One of Duke’s most charismatic players enjoyed a storybook finish to his home career when the Blue Devils edged North Carolina 66–65 in overtime in the regular-season finale of coach Mike Krzyzewski’s first year.
 
Gene Banks’s arrival at Duke four years prior had prompted 5,000 fans to show up for his first practice and prompted a sellout of season tickets for the first time in years. After helping the program to two ACC titles and three NCAA berths in his first three years, Banks marked his senior introduction at Cameron by throwing roses to the crowd.
 
The Tar Heels, ranked No. 11, were on the verge of spoiling his day when they took a 58–56 lead with two seconds left. But the script called for one of the most dramatic finishes in stadium history. First, senior Kenny Dennard threw the inbounds pass to Chip Engelland at midcourt, and Engelland immediately called a timeout with one second left. Dennard then threw a second straight perfect pass, this time to Banks near the top of the key. Banks’s shot barely eluded oncoming UNC center Sam Perkins and fell through to send the game into overtime.
 
Banks then scored six of Duke’s eight points in the extra session, the final two with 12 seconds left to seal the outcome. “You couldn’t have gotten a better ending,” said Banks, “even if you’d gotten Shakespeare to write it.”

Duke (66) – Banks 25, Dennard 16, Linney, Taylor 14, Emma 4, Tissaw 7, Engelland, Williams, Suddath
North Carolina (65) – Wood 16, Doherty 4, Perkins 24, Pepper 8, Black 12, Braddock 1, Brust, Barlow, Kenny

Surprise, Surprise
March 10, 1984

 
GREENSBORO – After twice coming up tantalizingly short of its nemesis UNC during the regular season, Duke pulled off one of the all-time ACC Tournament shockers by upsetting the Tar Heels 77–75 in the semifinals.
 
North Carolina, with one of its better teams, was ranked No. 1 in the nation, had gone 14–0 in the league to finish five games ahead of second-place Maryland, and had lost just one contest all year. It was considered a foregone conclusion that the Tar Heels would be cutting down nets when the tourney ended.
 
But Duke, a double-overtime loser at Chapel Hill the week before, came through with a game that helped transform the program. Playing suffocating post defense on the Tar Heels’ vaunted inside attack, Duke was able to maintain a lead or stay within striking distance the entire afternoon.
 
Johnny Dawkins gave Duke a 69–67 lead late in the contest, and David Henderson’s free throws with 17 seconds left put the Devils up 77–73. After Michael Jordan scored for UNC and Henderson missed a free throw, the Heels had a chance to force overtime. But Matt Doherty’s inbounds pass went out of bounds and Duke moved on to the final.
 
“That was the coming of age for all of us,” Mark Alarie said later of this sophomore-laden team.

Duke (77) – Meagher 6, Alarie 21, Bilas 10, Dawkins 16, Amaker 6, Henderson 14, McNeely 4
North Carolina (75) – Doherty 20, Perkins 9, Wolf 6, Jordan 22, Smith 6, Daugherty 8, Hale 4, Popson

No Other Option
March 2, 1986

 
DURHAM – Mike Krzyzewski’s special class of 1986 went out in style, topping North Carolina 82–74 in the home finale to secure the school’s first outright ACC regular-season crown in twenty years.
 
Seniors Mark Alarie, Jay Bilas, Johnny Dawkins, David Henderson, and Weldon Williams put the finishing touch on an outstanding regular season that concluded with a 12–2 ACC record. It wasn’t the Blue Devils’ best performance of the year, but maybe their most important.
 
“I remember feeling as much pressure for that game as any game that I’ve ever played in, including the national championship game,” Alarie said later. “I could not see losing that game to those guys and having that blemish . . . We were going to win that game no matter what.”
 
Alarie had a key dunk late in the game and David Henderson scored on a backdoor play as Duke held off a Tar Heel charge to finish the regular season 29–2, setting the stage for its first ACC tourney title and Final Four run under Krzyzewski.

Duke (82) – Henderson 27, Alarie 16, Bilas, Dawkins 21, Amaker 14, Ferry 2, Williams 2, King, Snyder, Strickland
North Carolina (74) – Wolf 12, Hunter 10, Daugherty 24, Lebo 18, K. Smith 4, R. Smith 2, Popson 2, Madden 2, Bucknall, Daye

A Cameron Classic
Feb. 2, 1995

 
DURHAM – It should have been no contest, with North Carolina ranked No. 2 in the nation and Duke struggling to a winless ACC mark. Instead, this apparent mismatch turned into one of the great Duke-Carolina games ever, with the Tar Heels pulling out a 102–100 decision in double overtime.
 
UNC hit 10 of its first 11 shots and bolted to a 17-point lead in the first 8:30 of play. Jerry Stackhouse capped that run with a jaw-dropping reverse dunk that seemed to signal an impending rout by the Tar Heels. A noteworthy dunk by Greg Newton fueled a 10–0 run by Duke, however, and the Blue Devils went on to build a 12-point lead midway through the second half by hitting 16 of their first 20 shots and committing no turnovers on their first 18 possessions.
 
Cherokee Parks hit two free throws with 19 seconds left to tie the score at 81 and send the game into overtime. North Carolina built up a nine-point lead in the extra session and had a chance to ice the game with free throws. But Serge Zwikker missed a pair with four seconds to go, leaving just enough time for Jeff Capel to cross midcourt and launch one of the most famous shots in Cameron history—a 30-footer to send the stadium into hysteria and force another OT at 95–95.
 
Points were hard to come by in the final five minutes. Jeff McInnis stole an inbounds pass and scored immediately with 52 seconds left to give UNC a four-point lead. Ricky Price hit a jumper to bring Duke to within two, and Newton picked up a UNC turnover with 13 seconds left to give the Devils a final shot, but there was no second miracle as the Heels prevailed in the highest-scoring Duke-UNC game ever.

Duke (100) – Price 16, Parks 25, Meek 11, Langdon 20, Capel 17, Collins 9, Newton 2, Wojciechowski
North Carolina (102) – Calabria 11, Stackhouse 25, Wallace 25, D. Williams 24, McInnis 8, Landry 9, Zwikker, S. Williams, Geth

Dramatic 500th
Feb. 28, 1998

 
DURHAM – Mike Krzyzewski’s 500th career coaching victory couldn’t have come under more dramatic and emotional circumstances. On Senior Day at Cameron Indoor Stadium, his top-ranked Blue Devils rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half to claim a thrilling 77–75 victory over North Carolina.
 
Duke fell behind 18–4 at the start, trailing by 12 points at halftime and 64–47 with 11:39 to play. But Duke held the Tar Heels to just two field goals over that final span, both on offensive rebounds, while scoring on 15 of its last 18 possessions for a win that secured the ACC regular-season title.
 
Most of the rally was forged on the backs of senior Roshown McLeod and freshman Elton Brand, who relentlessly pounded inside against UNC’s more vaunted post players. The Blue Devils scored 10 of their last 13 field goals in the paint and held the Tar Heels’ star Antawn Jamison to just one tip-in and one free throw over the last 11 minutes. Jamison had scored 35 points against Duke in an earlier meeting.
 
Guard William Avery began the comeback with a pair of free throws and a drive inside. Brand, coming off the bench while recovering from a broken foot, scored eight points in three minutes to make it a seven-point game. Avery made it 70–64 with a three just inside the six-minute mark, and McLeod finished off a 23-point performance in his home finale with six points in the last three minutes, including the game-winning drive over Jamison with 59 seconds left. McLeod also made two big defensive plays at the end by stealing a lob pass and tying up Vince Carter for a jump ball with 45 seconds left to give Duke possession.
 
Chris Carrawell scored only one basket, but it was the game-tying layup. And Steve Wojciechowski scored only one point, but his 11 assists and leadership were major factors in the comeback. UNC contributed to its own demise by missing four free throws in the closing seconds.

Duke (77) – McLeod 23, Price, Battier 5, Langdon 17, Wojciechowski 1, Brand 16, Avery 9, Burgess 4, Carrawell 2, Chappell
North Carolina (75) – Okulaja 4, Carter 14, Jamison 23, Williams 15, Cota 6, Haywood 7, Ndiaye 6

Reversal of Fortune
March 4, 2001

 
CHAPEL HILL – Though ranked No. 2 in the country, Duke was given little chance of defeating fourth-ranked North Carolina in the season finale after the Blue Devils lost center Carlos Boozer to a foot injury in a Senior Night defeat to Maryland. But coach Mike Krzyzewski completely reworked his lineup by inserting reserve Casey Sanders for Boozer and elevating freshman Chris Duhon to the starting backcourt. The result was a stunning 95–81 victory that gave Duke a share of its fifth straight ACC regular-season title, a new conference standard.
 
With Duhon at the point, Duke tried to move the ball more quickly up the floor and push the tempo at every opportunity. After shooting 0 for 4 in the first half, Duhon proved to be a catalyst in the second by hitting 5 of 7 shots. He had all 15 of his points after halftime, with no turnovers. Putting the ball in Duhon’s hands more often also opened up the floor for his fellow guard Jason Williams, who hit seven three-pointers and totaled 33 points. And senior Shane Battier anchored a defense that trapped, swarmed the ball, and thoroughly disrupted UNC’s plan to go inside on the Devils’ depleted frontcourt.
 
After a close first half, Duke broke open the game by scoring 30 points in the first 8:09 of the second half to take a 15-point lead. A key moment came with Duke on top 50–47. UNC’s Joseph Forte stole the ball from Mike Dunleavy at the top of the key and headed down the floor for an apparent fast-break dunk. But Battier caught Forte from behind and forced him to jam the ball into the front of the rim. Dunleavy grabbed the rebound and dished it to Williams, who nailed a three-point shot to extend Duke’s lead to six.

Duke (95) – Battier 25, Dunleavy 16, Sanders 2, Williams 33, Duhon 15, James 4, Love, Christensen
North Carolina (81) – Brooker, Everett, Haywood 12, Owens 8, Curry 7, Forte 21, Capel 11, Morrison 8, Lang 7, Peppers 7, Boone

Good To The Last Shot
Feb. 5, 2004

 
CHAPEL HILL – Ranked No. 1 in the country and riding a 15-game winning streak, Duke nevertheless had its hands full with a 17th-ranked North Carolina team that owned a losing record in ACC play. Like so many games in the Duke-Carolina series, this one evolved into a classic that the Blue Devils won in overtime, 83–81.
 
Duke led by five points at halftime before UNC scratched back to build up a 69–62 lead with 5:45 to go on a fast-break dunk by Rashad McCants. Duke then buckled down on defense and held UNC scoreless for over four minutes to take a 72–69 lead at 1:06. After Sean May scored at 53 seconds to make it a one-point game, J. J. Redick answered with a gritty drive at 38 seconds to boost Duke’s advantage back to three. Then UNC’s Jawad Williams nailed his only three-pointer of the game at 18 seconds and the teams were knotted at 74, headed to overtime.
 
A pair of free throws by Redick gave Duke a lead of 81–78 with 22 seconds left, but McCants hit a clutch three-pointer with just 13 seconds on the clock to tie the score again. Rather than call a timeout to set up a final play, Duke quickly inbounded the ball to Chris Duhon, who raced the length of the floor, weaving through defenders, and made a reverse layup with 6.5 seconds left to give the Blue Devils an 83–81 lead. After Melvin Scott missed a three at the buzzer, all the Blue Devils swarmed Duhon in celebration of a victory that registered as Duke’s 13th in its last 15 contests with the Tar Heels.

“David [Noel] thought that I was going to get back to Duhon, but Duhon, being the smart, crafty player that he is, kept going to the basket, knowing that David and I were going to run into each other,” said UNC guard Raymond Felton. “He didn’t get a wide-open lay-up, but he made a tough shot.”

Duke (83) – Deng 17, Redick 14, Williams 22, Ewing 19, Duhon 9, Randolph 2, Dockery
North Carolina (81) – Williams 7, McCants 27, May 15, Scott 5, Felton 11, Manuel 8, Noel 6, Sanders 2, Terry

Time Runs Out
Feb. 9, 2005

DURHAM – The No. 7 ranked Blue Devils used stellar defense to turn their 71-70 victory over No. 2 ranked North Carolina into a half court basketball game. The only fast break points of the game came courtesy of Rashad McCants on a layup in the final minute to pull the Tar Heels within one. The Tar Heels failed to get up a game-winning shot despite inbounding the ball with 18 seconds left. The buzzer sounded with David Noel dribbling the ball out of bounds resulting in the Cameron Crazies rushing onto the court.
 
The Duke defense forced 23 turnovers to move into a tie for first place in the ACC with North Carolina. The Blue Devils were content with playing a half court basketball game going 21-of-22 from the free throw line and making 10 three-pointers. All but one of Duke’s field goals in the second half came from beyond the arc.

With the game tied at 53 midway through the second half Daniel Ewing connected on consecutive threes, DeMarcus Nelson made four free throws followed by a three from J.J. Redick giving Duke a nine-point lead.

Behind the play of Raymond Felton and Sean May, the Tar Heels cut the lead to 71-66 with less than two minutes left. May then scored on a tip-in and McCants fast-break two made it a one point game at 71-70. The final seconds though saw Felton pass up an open shot to look down low for Williams or May, finally passing it to Noel. But with time running out, Noel couldn't get off a shot, and Duke earned the victory.

Duke (71) - Redick 18, Nelson 16, Ewing 15, Williams 11, Dockery 4, Randolph 4, Melchionni 3, Johnson
North Carolina (70) – May 23, Felton 13, McCants 11, Manuel 9, Williams 2, Noel, Scott, Thomas, Miller


These game capsules were excerpted from The Encyclopedia of Duke Basketball written by John Roth of Blue Devil Weekly and the Duke Radio Network. This book can be purchased by clicking here.

For all of your Duke merchandise needs, please visit Duke Stores by clicking here.

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