Duke has upper hand in battle of the blues

They're two of 10 ACC teams in Lunardi's field, including Wake Forest and Syracuse among the "last four in". "Especially in crunch time, he's made some huge plays for us".

He probably didn't mean it like this, though. Overall, the Blue Devils lost three of their last four regular-season games, costing themselves a double-bye in Brooklyn. They hit some great catch-and-shoot shots that were exceptional. Playing 16 straight games within 10 points for the first time in nearly 80 years was uncommon.

Tatum has had an incredible year so far for Duke, but it was the two-minute span against Notre Dame that encapsulated his identity as not only a well-rounded freshman, but a well-rounded basketball player.

"Winners are uncommon, first of all, so you have to do uncommon things".

"They're exhausted", he said. "It's been our motto throughout the year, just to be uncommon".

Coach Mike Krzyzewski broke a tie with former UNC legend Dean Smith by capturing his 14th ACC Tournament. "Usually when you're feeling satisfied, you should be the most unsatisfied". Duke was up by 13 when Williams cleared his bench in final 20 seconds and Stilman White hit a smoother three-pointer to make the final margin 10.

Tatum had 19 points, Kennard 16 points and Jefferson 14 for Duke (27-8). For the Blue Devils, it's the burden of meeting expectations that never really go away, even with an ACC title. "Now, our fans don't know about the history of the ACC championship game". They've taken two of three from one of the presumptive No. 1 seeds, North Carolina. We've won a lot of these. "We've got to have a quick turnaround with this one playing another really good team (Saturday)".

The second half was, once again, a different story, as the good guys were able to tighten up (at least a bit) defensively.

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The Blue Devils trailed by as many as 13 points and seven at the half before outscoring their rivals 51-34 in the second half.

"It's obvious we have a lot of fun playing here", said junior guard Matt Farrell, a New Jersey native. We were fortunate enough to play in the semis in the Garden, we never got to the Saturday night.

"We just wanted to be special, we wanted to overcome everything we've been through throughout the entire season", he said. Duke, which finished the game 33-of-37 (89.2 percent) at the free-throw line, won by 10 despite taking 28 less shots than the Tar Heels.

Those needles you're stabbing into your Grayson Allen voodoo dolls aren't working.

Then, Jason Tatum scored on a dynamic dunk for Duke, and Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski called time out.

"It had to go in".

"I know they were really exhausted, so by taking ownership and attacking like that, they made it work". "Matt's a rock for us. We needed to make a few more of those open looks to beat those guys".

Jones was right before the season, and Duke's uncommonness is finally manifesting in the way he envisioned. A Tar Heels turnover led to a 3-pointer from Kennard for a 68-65 cushion for the Blue Devils. He harkened to February's draining home victory over North Carolina and how Duke didn't play well two days later in a tense win over Clemson. "We were getting ready to get knocked out and Grayson saved us". Hart (18.9 ppg, 3.1 assists) epitomizes the collegiate stars of a previous era, who remained in school and evolved over four years. "We've got another chance, let's put it that way".

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