The Duke Blue Devils have been through rough stretches before, but the past 18 days and nights have turned the team inside out. Beginning with a January 28 loss at Wake Forest, Duke has dropped four of their last six games, culminating in Sunday night's 80-74 loss at Boston College. In between, the #6 Blue Devils lost to Clemson and arch-rival North Carolina.
Sunday's setback wasn't exactly a thing of beauty, but it was a huge win for BC, as Tyrese Rice made big plays down the stretch in a 21-point effort, aided by Vermont transfer Joe Trapani's 20.
Kyle Singler topped the scoring ladder with 25, but the absence of production from Duke's back court - Jon Scheyer and Greg Paulus - was notable. Paulus had just 2 points and 2 assists in 25 minutes, while Scheyer was completely off his game, scoring 8 points on horrific 3-of-12 shooting, including 0-for-6 on three-pointers.
Duke dropped to 7-4 in ACC play and 20-5 overall. The Eagles, meanwhile, improved to 7-5 and 19-8, and now hold wins over duke and North Carolina, despite a pair of losses to Wake Forest and another to Clemson.
Tar Heels Slip Past Hurricanes
Ty Lawson made a 25-foot three-pointer with 11.2 seconds remaining and hit a pair of free throws with 2.5 left to seal a 69-65 North Carolina win at Miami.
Lawson's 21 pointed paced the Tar Heels, as they held off a determined Hurricane squad led by Jack McClinton's 35-point effort. Virtually unstoppable, McClinton hit 13 of 24 field goals, including 7-of-12 from 3-point range. McClinton's tally was a season high, eclipsing the 34 points he scored in his last game, a 78-75 loss at Duke on February 7. He scored 32 in the game just prior to that, a 79-52 thrashing of Wake Forest on February 4.
After playing three straight top-ranked teams in a row, life gets a bit easier for the Hurricanes, though not by much. They play at Florida State on Wednesday before returning home to face Boston College on Saturday. Miami is 15-9 overall, but just 4-7 in the ACC.
#3 North Carolina improved to 23-2 and 9-2 in league play. They lead the ACC by 2 games over Duke.