#6 UNC at #4 Duke

What: College Basketball Armageddon 2012, Part II
Where: Hansbrough Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC
When: Saturday, March 3rd, 7:00 PM
TV: ESPN
Records: UNC 26-4, 13-2 ACC; Duke 26-4, 13-2 ACC

"You ought to be ticked off. You ought to be flat-out ticked off and that’s the best language I can use. That you’re going to become more determined. If you start wallowing in the sorrow for yourself and feeling frickin’ sorry for yourself, you ought to just go home. My team better by God come back and decide they’re going to be better. We lost a game that we could have won. If we don’t learn something and come back and be more determined, then I’ve got the wrong group. And I don’t think I have the wrong group."

-Roy Williams after the February 8th loss to Duke

For 24 days, almost every time you turn around you see the replay. Austin Rivers three over Tyler Zeller to beat UNC on February 8th may have been shown more times than the Zapruder film. I have lost count of the number of times I have muted my radio or switched channels to avoid seeing it again. That loss and Duke's continual knack for winning games they probably should lose, the comeback versus NC State, beating Virginia Tech despite the Hokies having two shots to win the game in regulation, etc, etc, etc. leading to mock brackets showing Duke as a #1 seed.

24 days ago UNC had a game lost in part because of a meltdown in the Tar Heels' execution, questionable officiating, fluke plays and Duke hitting shots. Roy is right. The Heels should be pissed. They should be angry at their own failure to close the deal, angry about out of control elements complicating matters and angry that amid all of those things Duke got all the right shots to fall when they needed them. To say they are looking for revenge is too easy and probably cliche. To paraphrase Doc Holliday from Tombstone it's not revenge the Heels are after, it's a reckoning.

It is not enough to simply beat Duke in this game. UNC must erase, as much as possible, Feb. 8th. Austin Rivers shot may live on in the annals of the rivalry but for the purposes of this season that game is to be made a bump in the UNC's road. The Heels need to expose Duke in every way possible and eliminate this notion of the Blue Devils being on par with UNC. In other words UNC needs to do for 40 minutes what they did for most of the second half in Chapel Hill except this time shut the door.

For the ACC regular season, the bragging rights and good of all mankind.

UNC 86 Duke 70

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