Duke basketball cannot match physicality, toughness of UNC in loss at Cameron

The Blue Devils were swept by the Tar Heels after another disappointing outing in Durham

North Carolina v Duke
North Carolina v Duke / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

Jon Scheyer made a speech that the Duke basketball team would not be out-toughed or out-physicalled against North Carolina again after the Tar Heels defeated the Blue Devils in Chapel Hill earlier this season.

The team clearly didn't get the message.

North Carolina went wire-to-wire in the rematch between the two rivals inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, winning 84-79.

The Tar Heels (25-6, 17-3 ACC) led by as many as 15 points in the first half before Duke would cut its deficit to nine, 40-31, at halftime and Kyle Filipowski led a charge to get the Blue Devils within one, 43-42, three minutes into the second half, but it would not matter.

North Carolina had an answer every time down the floor, typically with the shooting of Cormac Ryan.

Ryan made his first three 3-pointers of the game and led the Tar Heels with 31 points on 8-of-12 shooting, making 6-of-8 attempts from 3-point range. If it wasn't Ryan, it was Bacot. If it wasn't Bacot, it was someone else.

It didn't matter what Jon Scheyer tried to do defensively, it didn't work.

Filipowski did everything in his power to try and avoid the regular season sweep at the hands of the Tar Heels but he just couldn't get any help. The All-American candidate finished with 23 points, scoring 19 points in the second half as he battled foul trouble.

Jeremy Roach, in what could have been his final game inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, was just 3-of-12 from the floor with 13 points and a costly turnover with two minutes remaining and the Blue Devils down six, 75-69, as Ryan would hit another 3-pointer on the next possession.

Bacot and RJ Davis, the Tar Heels' best players, combined for just 18 points on a combined 8-of-23 shooting.

The closest Duke got in the final 15:30 came in the final 5.8 seconds when the Blue Devils got back within three points, 82-79, but Ryan would hit two free throws to put the game out of reach.

North Carolina won the outright ACC regular season title for the first time since 2017 with the victory and will be the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament next week in Washington D.C.

Duke (24-7, 15-5 ACC) will be the No. 2 seed and the two teams could meet again in the Championship Game on Saturday night.

Next. Filipowski trips Ingram in similar situation as Grayson Allen. Filipowski trips Ingram in similar situation as Grayson Allen. dark