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UNC vs. Duke - Player of the Game: Cole Anthony

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The freshman led the team in scoring in a heartbreaking loss.

Duke v North Carolina Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

This post won’t be terribly long, because like the rest of you, I didn’t exactly want to think very much about this game. In a season of brutal loss after brutal loss, this was somehow the worst.

At times, there were legitimate arguments for maybe seven of the eight UNC players who saw the court against Duke. Then overtime happened and now there are decent arguments against many of those seven as well.

Had UNC won right at the end of regulation, this probably would’ve gone to Garrison Brooks. In addition to his 18 points on 9-12 shooting, he was seconds away from having a game-saving block. Unfortunately, the game did go to overtime, and his 0-5 from the free throw line performance is a big reason for that.

Christian Keeling was excellent for most of the game, having his best game as a Tar Heel. Then just as UNC looked to be pulling away in overtime, he made several defensive miscues, allowing Duke to get back into it and steal the win.

Andrew Platek was really good, finishing with nine points. However, he too missed some crucial free throws, and was involved in the crucial turnover right at the end. (Before anyone yells at me, I thought it should’ve been a foul too, but it wasn’t, so I don’t know what to tell you.)

Leaky Black nearly had a triple double, finishing with eight points, nine assists, and seven rebounds. However, he also had his normal moments of tentativeness, ended up finishing with four turnovers, and eventually fouled out of the game.

After all that, I suppose that leaves the best option as Cole Anthony. He finished with a team high 24 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists. He nearly single-handedly drove them over the line in overtime, scoring six of the Tar Heels’ 12 points. Also, he went 9-10 from the free throw line, and after that debacle that has to count for something.

There are legitimate arguments against him too, as was the nature of that loss.