When the Duke basketball team plays the North Carolina Tar Heels its supposed to bring the best out of both programs but only one shined on Saturday night in Chapel Hill.
No. 3 North Carolina won, 93-84, in what was a dismal display of defense by the No. 3 Blue Devils.
Head coach Jon Scheyer did not mince words following the game, which showed some pretty big warning signs surrounding Duke.
"They were hungrier," Scheyer explained at the feeling that all of the loose balls went to the Tar Heels.
"I just wasn’t happy with the way we competed."
It's very concerning considering this was the biggest game of the season, to this point, for Duke and they couldn't match the level of competition from its biggest rival on the road.
"You can play really well and compete your butt off and still lose to them. Because they’re a really good team. But we didn’t compete to the level that you need to, to have a chance to beat this team tonight."
A victory would have given Duke the inside track of winning the ACC regular season title and earning the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament, now the Blue Devils will have to battle teams like Virginia, North Carolina State, and Wake Forest for the No. 2 seed, assuming the Tar Heels don't suffer any unexpected losses.
It also still leaves a major gap in Duke's resume, one that lacks multiple signature victories.
The quotes from Scheyer only got more concerning as he was asked follow up questions from the media.
"What’s not normal is to not lay it all on the line the way that you need to," he continued.
"I know the teams I’ve played on, coached on, the team last year and a half – we compete. We show up. Tonight wasn’t the level that it should be."
Scheyer took responsibility for the lack of fire in his team and say he has to find a way to fix it, but it doesn't come down to him.
If each player in the locker room isn't willing to dive for loose balls and give an extra effort, especially against North Carolina, then they never will and it will continue to look like this version of the Blue Devils was vastly overrated from preseason expectations.