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Duke Blue Devil’s Senior Day Ends in Disappointment with 84-79 Loss to UNC: Analysis and Reactions

SportsDuke Blue Devil's Senior Day Ends in Disappointment with 84-79 Loss to UNC: Analysis and Reactions

When Carolina visited Cameron on Senior Night at Duke Blue Devil, Ryan Young and Jeremy Roach—the final starting point of the Coach K era—were honored. Regretfully, Duke did not prevail. To be honest, Duke wasn’t worthy of the victory.

While Duke did a respectable job on Armando Bacot and RJ Davis, UNC jumped out to a 17–4 lead, and Cormac Ryan was unstoppable. He began the game with three threes in the first four and a half minutes, which helped the Tar Heels build a significant lead. He finished with 31 points.

Duke trailed 40–31 at the half after failing to make up ground in the first half.

Early in the second half, the Duke Blue Devil rallied and got as close to a lead as 43-42, but that was their closest point.

Basically, Duke couldn’t have won because of far too many errors and a lack of initiative.

Roach made a three-pointer to narrow the lead to one, but he only shot 3–12, which is obviously not going to go you very far. Mark Mitchell only attempted three shots, of which he made one. Kyle Filiipowski only made 8–18 shots.

It would take some time to enumerate every opportunity that was lost. Nor does that have to do with bad shots. It’s about dropping the ball and tripping over it. It’s all about being stripped and earning rebounds. Ryan is having a career night, and you already know that, so it’s about losing track of him. It’s about being bullied by Harrison Ingram and Bacot.

Even after trailing by seventeen, Duke Blue Devil had opportunities. For whatever reason, they were unable to exploit them. And that was the game’s weakest feature, in our opinion.

If you give it your all, losing isn’t the worst thing that can happen. If you put forth your all yet still fall short, what options are there? You are only capable of your very finest.

We doubt that many viewers would believe that Duke performed as well as it possibly could, both as a team and as individuals. Both Jared McCain and Filipowski performed admirably in the second half. Ryan Young performed a rather good job of hitting Bacot. All things considered, though, Duke simply wasn’t good enough to prevail. UNC accomplished and merits the win.

Fortunately, they still have two tournaments left to use the lessons they learned. Recall that the Blue Devils won the national championship in 1991 despite losing to UNC by 22 in the ACC Finals.

We won’t pass judgment on the Filipowski-Ingram play until we’ve gotten a chance to see it.

We realized how much we missed Tim Duncan as the game was coming to a close.

No, not total domination. What escaped our notice was his total lack of desire to make fun of rivals, supporters, or really anybody. It was a little excessive to watch Cormac Ryan put his finger to his lips or perform that dumb “too small” thing. We wish Duke athletes would quit doing those things because we know they do them occasionally as well.

We hope that everyone will. What benefit does it provide? Duncan’s expressions never even wavered. It was impossible to determine if he was upset or not. He never once showed signs of taunting a rival.

Even though it was all ridiculous, UNC opted to make fun of the supporters as a group. We were sad to see food and beverages thrown at the Tar Heels, but anybody can start a fight. The issue is that you’re not always in control of how things turn out. That applies to both Bacot and the group as well as the individual who threw a beer at Ron Artest at the Palace back in 2004.

We had a little conversation about this following the Wake Forest court storming. Call it a general lack of character, but if this kind of behavior keeps happening, eventually something extremely horrible will happen, and nobody will be happy with those events or the cures that will follow.

Stop storming. Stop taunting. Stop reacting in ways that could lead to a massive brawl.

Just stop.


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