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Off the cuff: Those who have watched dozens of these Carolina-Duke games had to keep thinking that it was going to go down to the wire - no matter what the score is at any moment.

But every time Duke cut the margin to under double digits, the Tar Heels had an answer.

When the Blue Devils erased a six-point deficit to tie the game at 22-all, UNC super sub Seth Trimble scored back-to-back baskets. (Coach Davis said it was Trimble's best game as a Tar Heel.)

When Duke cut it to 31-28, Carolina went on a 7-0 run highlighted by a Harrison Ingram three and four points from Eilliott Cadeau to stretch the margin to 10 at 38-28.

After Duke got the lead down to under 10 at 57-48, the Heels went on a 6-0 run to get the lead to 15, it's largest of the game. A steal which ended with a long pass downcourt from Trimble to RJ Davis highlighted that modest run.

Duke once again got the score down under 10 with 7:50 to go but Armando Bacot hit a pair of three throws and Cormac Ryan stroked an open three from the left corner after a hustle play by Ingram kept the ball in Tar Heels' hands.

A three from Duke's Jared McCain cut the margin to eight at 77-69 with 5:07 to go but Bacot backed in on Kyle Filipowski, scored on a left-handed hook and drew the foul. After a give-and-go play from Trimble to Bacot to Trimble, the Tar Heels had the lead right back up to 13 at 82-69.

Down 87-79 with a minute to go, Duke had a chance to cut the margin to five or six on its possession but Cormac Ryan came up with a block that secured the ball for Carolina.

Davis hit free throws down the stretch to keep the lead comfortable and then Bacot dunked the ball with 10 seconds left to wrap it up.

Harrison Ingram said he had heard a lot about the rivalry but he didn't really get into it until Bacot scored Caroilna's first points of the game and the crowd erupted.

"Then it was like wow, oh my goodness," Ingram said.

The Tar Heels were ready for this game, Ingram said. The team met for nearly two hours after getting back at midnight from a loss to Georgia Tech earlier in the week.

"We knew this was a big time game and a chance to make a statement," Ingram said. "We wanted to get a win against a really good team with a high-level coach in a high-level game and we were ready."

Carolina 93, Duke 84
Heels control game, take it to Duke

(Photo by UNC Sports Information)

North Carolina, behind a first-year Tar Heel and a fifth-year Tar Heel, handled rival Duke from beginning to end to win 93-84 in Chapel Hill. (2/3)

Fifth-year senior Armando Bacot controlled the inside, going 10 of 13 for 25 points and 10 rebounds while transfer Harrison Ingram controlled the rest of the floor, scoring 21 points on five three pointers.

"Armando was Armando. He was big time... It was one of his best games ever," UNC coach Hubert Davis said. "Harrison has the ability to post up and make perimeter jump shots. That helps Armando to get free inside and opens up the lane to allow other guys to drive to the basket."

Duke led 2-0 and that was it as the Tar Heels led for about 38 minutes, stretching the lead to 10, 45-35 at the half.

Carolina extended the margin to 15 at 63-48 with 13:14 left when Ingram swished a 14-footer. Duke managed to cut it to eight at 77-69 with just over five minutes to go when McCain drilled a three from the left corner.

The margin mostly stayed between eight and 13 the rest of the way. A Bacot dunk in the closing seconds rounded out the scoring and put the Carolina crowd into an even bigger frenzy.

"You could feel it coming out of the tunnel. It just has a different feel," Coach Davis said about the excitement in the building. "It was our best complete game all season. We were locked in. We especially did a good job defending without fouling and contesting their 3s."

Coach Davis said Duke gets a lot of its threes in transition but since the Heels turned the ball over only five times and were able to get to the free throw line, the Devils weren't able to get into transition often. And Duke ended just five of 19 from beyond the arc.

Despite the Tar Heels controlling the pace, the Blue Devils shot well, hitting well over 50 percent of their shots in the second half. Jared McCain led the way for the Blue Devils, now 16-5 overall and 7-3 in the ACC, with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Big man Kyle Filipowski had 22 points and five rebounds while Jeremy Roach added 20 points.

The Tar Heels, who also got 17 points from RJ Davis and 10 from Seth Trimble, improve to 18-4 and 10-1 in the ACC with a matchup with Clemson at home coming Tuesday night.

Box score

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