Duke basketball beats the brakes off UNC in Coach K’s Chapel Hill finale

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski and guard Trevor Keels (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski and guard Trevor Keels (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

It was a blowout in Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final game in Chapel Hill. 

There is no better way to go out than leaving your mark on a place that hates your guts, and that is what Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski did on Saturday night in Chapel Hill.

In his final game at the Dean E. Smith Center, the Blue Devil Hall of Famer saw his team run North Carolina out of its own gym from the opening tipoff, 87-67.

Duke (19-3, 9-2 ACC) opened the game on a 31-8 run and never looked back despite a late first-half charge from the Tar Heels (16-7, 8-4 ACC) to make their deficit 11, 39-28, at halftime.

The Blue Devils seized control of first place in the ACC on the night as well.

Freshman AJ Griffin, who was playing against his high school teammate RJ Davis, proved yet again that no moment is too big for him with a career-high 27 points, four rebounds, and one assist on 11-of-17 shooting from the floor and 3-of-6 from 3-point range.

Paolo Banchero, Wendell Moore, and Trevor Keels were the only other Blue Devils to reach double figures in the victory.

Banchero posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. But the freshman sensation didn’t look very comfortable in the game as he failed to take advantage of mismatches in the post and played too much on the perimeter.

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Moore looked like his pre-COVID-pause self with 13 points, eight rebounds, and five assists on 5-of-6 shooting from the field. Meanwhile, Keels just needed to get a game under his belt after returning from injury as he poured in 11 points, on 3-of-4 shooting from downtown, off the bench.

The victory was Krzyzewski’s 50th all-time against North Carolina and the biggest margin of victory for Duke against North Carolina on the road in 20 years.

Duke basketball shoots the lights out of the Dean Dome

Duke was unconscious shooting the basketball to begin the game, and things never really slowed down for the Blue Devils.

The team shot 57.6-percent from the floor, 47.4-percent from 3-point range, and 76.9-percent from the free throw line as North Carolina struggled to consistently make shots all night long.

It will be a quick turnaround for Duke as the No. 9 Blue Devils host Virginia (14-9, 8-5 ACC) on Monday night (7:00 p.m., ESPN).

The rematch between Duke and North Carolina will be Mike Krzyzewski’s final regular-season game as a head coach in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday, March 5 (6:00 p.m., ESPN).

Next. North Carolina will not honor Mike Krzyzewski. dark