The North Carolina Tar Heels celebrated senior day in a losing effort, as Duke wins 69-53 at the Dean Dome. Seth Curry led the No. 3 team in the country as the Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams lost his first game ever in a home finale.
Duke dominated the first quarter and led by 18 at the half. Seth Curry had 20 points and couldn’t miss in the first half. Mason Plumlee led all scorers with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Plumlee is eighth in the NCAA in rebounding at 10.3 a game.
Senior day at the Smith Center is usually one of recognition that ends with a win for Tar Heel nation. Saturday, the Tar Heels were blown out by Duke in-front of a sold out crowd. The loss comes just a week before the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C. next week.
James McAdoo scored 15 points and P.J. Hairston scored 14 and added six rebounds in the contest for the Tar Heels. Senior Dexter Strickland played 31 minutes in his final game in Chapel Hill scoring just four points.
The Tar Heels are 22-9 on the season, but will have to play good basketball in Greensboro next week if they expect to get a ticket to the NCAA Tournament. North Carolina cut the lead to 14 after going on a 13-2 run late in the second half against Duke, but only shot 33 percent from the field raising questions moving forward.
Duke has now won three straight games and is expected to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament no matter how they play before the bracket is announced. North Carolina won six straight games sandwiched in-between two losses to Duke.
The Tar Heels are currently third in the ACC standings behind Miami and Duke. I don’t see the Tar Heels missing the NCAA tourney, but an early upset in the conference tournament could stir things up.
North Carolina doesn’t have many big wins on their resume this season, having lost five of six games to ranked opponents. Their only win against a ranked team came back in December against UNLV.
The Tar Heel crowd was in full force Saturday night but the results they were looking for never came. Duke’s stellar shooting from the field is to blame, so I wouldn’t count out Roy Williams’ team just yet. Duke wins completing a regular season sweep of their bitter rivals, but the Tar Heels will seek revenge next week at the ACC Tournament.