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The North Carolina Tar Heels fell to the Duke Blue Devils 79-73 at Cameron Inndoor Stadium.
Duke was the favored team, so really it shouldn’t be any surprise. What was surprising was how UNC dominated the first half. John Hensen and Tyler Zeller dominated down low, and Harrison Barnes was shooting well. Duke came out roaring and recieved two huges games from Nolan Smith and Seth Curry. UNC showed their youth in the final minutes trying to keep their poise from the Duke comeback.
Kendall Marshall was named the starting PG by Roy Williams six games ago. Larry Drew III apparently was very upset and decided to leave the team. Behind Marshall, UNC started playing like, well, like UNC again. Barnes started showing the skill everyone knew he had, Zeller and Hensen have become more dominant down low, and shooters such as Donald Strickland and Leslie McDonald have been making more shots. North Carolina won five in a row before falling to Duke, including dominating wins over teams like Florida State and Boston College.
UNC should be able to go at least 5-2 or 6-1(heck, maybe 7-0!) to finish the stretch of regular season games before tournament time arrives. They finish with a game versus Duke at home on March 5th. UNC will continue to get better playing behind Marshall, and will come together more as a team because of it. Their youth will be their weakpoint, but if this team comes together like a lot of people think they can, they can be a dangerous team come tourney time.
North Carolina is back, baby!