T1. Jonesing for Moore
No. 7 Duke at unranked UNC
Feb. 8, 2020
Duke basketball fans couldn’t ask for anything Moore — no matter how hard they Tre.
The Blue Devils trailed the 12-loss Tar Heels from the 18:30 mark of the first half until the game-tying shot from Tre Jones as time expired in regulation. Up until that moment, UNC Twitter was asking why Duke fans were being so quiet and allowing themselves to openly dream that Cole Anthony was in the process of turning around what has been a historically heartbreaking campaign (a giant underachievement based on the roster’s slew of four-stars and couple of five-stars).
The Blue Devils had trailed by 13 with 4:30 to play, by 10 with 2:18 to play, by seven with 1:11 to play, and by three with six ticks remaining. Dean Dome attendees were gearing up to laugh at Coach K and his squad on their way off the court.
Instead, badly missed free throws on one end and epic heroics on the other end led to overtime. And overtime turned into yet another tease of the Tar Heels in the final minute by Duke. Down five with 20 seconds on the clock, the Blue Devils once again gave UNC fans every reason to believe the home team had sealed the victory.
Nope. A quick layup by Jones. A missed and-one attempt that went out of bounds off the fingertips of a Tar Heel. A strong drive for an easy bucket by freshman Wendell Moore. An aggressive defensive play by Moore that led to screams for a foul after UNC guard Andrew Platek — a top Duke helper — gave the ball back to the visitors by touching the ball last before it fell out of bounds.
A drawn foul by Jones, resulting in a swish from the foul line to tie the score at 96. A missed free throw by Jones, resulting in a long rebound by a heady Jordan Goldwire. A pass to Jones. An airball by Jones.
A beautifully brilliant putback at the buzzer by Moore — who grew up in North Carolina with Duke posters on his bedroom walls — for the unforgettable win.
An outcome that is the equivalent of kicking the Tar Heels while they are down. A truly heartwarming display for Duke basketball fans everywhere.
Now, this fan is left jonesing for the ACC to release next season’s schedule so that we can mark our calendars for the Blue Devils’ next chance to prove the darker shade of blue rules over the Dean Dome.
It was indeed a Duke-friendly atmosphere for a tone-setter to the rivalry in the 2020s.