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CHAPEL THRILL- Duke men's basketball mounts epic comeback in Chapel Hill - The Chronicle

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SPORTS  |  MEN'S
BASKETBALL


CHAPEL THRILL: DUKE MEN'S BASKETBALL MOUNTS EPIC COMEBACK IN CHAPEL
HILL

Saturday night's hero Tre Jones and head coach Mike Krzyzewski embrace
after Saturday's improbable win.
Photo by Simran Prakash
| The Chronicle

By Michael Model
February 9, 2020 | 1:57am GMT

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CHAPEL HILL—Eight years ago Austin Rivers etched his name in the
Duke-North Carolina history books with a game-winner as time expired.
Saturday, Tre Jones and Wendell Moore Jr. took their place right
alongside him.

Trailing by three with four seconds left in regulation, Jones stepped
to the free throw line. The sophomore captain calmly made the first,
then purposefully bricked the second. The ball kicked out to Matthew
Hurt on the perimeter, who passed the ball to Jones.



Jones patiently dribbled forward, fought through ferocious defense
from Cole Anthony to get a mid-range jumper off with less than half a
second on the clock. The arena fell silent as the ball went through
the net, forcing overtime.

“With Duke being my dream school since I can remember, I'm always
watching these rivalry games,” Jones said. “Seeing Austin Rivers
hit a shot here when I was at one of my basketball tournaments, going
crazy, watching my brother do what he did against Carolina. I just
wanted to put my name in the game like that. And I feel like I might
have done that tonight.”

“He made—not a good play—that was an amazing play. That’s one
of those clinic videos,” head coach Mike Krzyzewski added. “We won
because of that kid.”

Trailing by five with 20 seconds remaining in overtime, Duke staged
another dramatic comeback. Jones converted a lay-up after a foul, but
the rebound was tipped out of bounds off North Carolina. Moore would
score on the ensuing possession to cut the deficit to one. The Tar
Heels botched the inbounds pass to set up an opportunity for the Blue
Devils to go for the win with 10.7 ticks on the clock.

Jones promptly drove to the dish and got to the line. Swish, tie game.
The Apple Valley, Minn., native missed the second, but would get
another chance on the offensive rebound. Jones missed the midrange
pull-up, but Moore was right there to lay it in for the game-winner as
time expired. The Blue Devils escaped the Dean E. Smith Center with a
98-96 victory.

“I missed that and Wendell pursued it,” Jones said. “They got
that big guy down low and he was able to go up and tip it out. Jordan
Goldwire pursued the ball as it was going out of bounds and saved it
to me. I put up a look and Wendell again went after it, something that
he was doing all game and he was able to get that huge putback.”



Jones led his team with 28 points, while Tar Heel freshman phenom Cole
Anthony fed off the energy of the crowd and led North Carolina with 24
points of his own. 

With a 13-point advantage and four minutes  remaining in regulation,
North Carolina fans flocked to the exits confident in a Tar Heel win.
But, the Blue Devils went to work on a comeback for the ages.

Triples by Joey Baker and Alex O’Connell along with missed free
throws at the other end gave Duke the opportunity to cut the lead down
to 81-79 with 40 seconds remaining.

Trailing by two with 15 seconds left, Jones and Jordan Goldwire forced
a steal as Duke had an opportunity to tie. Cassius Stanley got the
ball under the basket and pump-faked, but the Tar Heel defense swatted
it away. Andrew Platek would go 1-for-2 at the line for North Carolina
to set up Jones’ classic moment.

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“I didn't think it was gonna take that, but like I said I knew what
it’d take. Almost dead in the water there in regulation and
overtime,” Jones said. “Everyone on the team had the same look in
their eyes, same look on their face. The coaches had the same thing
going as well. We all believed in each other. We all believed every
second of the game that we were going to come out with a win.”

Anyone who watched the two teams for the first time would be stunned
to learn the Tar Heels entered the contest with losses in 11 of their
last 15 games. North Carolina overwhelmed Duke (20-3, 10-2 in the ACC)
with exquisite ball movement, domination on the interior and
near-perfect accuracy from the midrange for the first 35 minutes of
the contest.

The Tar Heels (10-13, 3-9) feasted off open attempts from the midrange
en route to an astonishing 59.4 percent first-half conversion rate and
a nine-point halftime lead. The Blue Devil defense was not better for
much of the second half. North Carolina shot 52.2 percent compared to
Duke’s 42.5 percent from the field overall.

The Blue Devils opted for size in the starting lineup with the
insertions of Moore and Jack White in order to counter Tar Heel big
men Armando Bacot and Garrison Brooks. Regardless, Duke got mauled on
the glass as North Carolina dominated the battle on the boards 51-42.

“This game has no record. Both teams 0-0, you have to treat it like
that. I know they're struggling record-wise, but they’re as talented
as almost any team that we're going to see out there,” Jones said
about his message to his freshman teammates. “That's an extremely
good team, extremely talented and they're coached by one of the
greatest. The atmosphere is crazy, one of the best places to play on
the road. There's really not a lot you can say besides that because
once you're in it, you just realize how much different it is.”

The Blue Devils will have a chance to climb their way up the ACC
standings Monday, as they are set for another tough test in No. 8
Florida State in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

READ MORE

CHRONCHAT: PREDICTING THE 2019-20 DUKE MEN'S BASKETBALL SEASON


-------------------------

RELIVE THE MOMENTS THAT DEFINED DUKE MEN'S BASKETBALL'S 2018-19
CAMPAIGN


-------------------------

RELIVE DUKE MEN'S BASKETBALL'S TOP 10 WINS EVER AGAINST NORTH CAROLINA


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