1. Immediately put that on the list of the top 5-10 games ever at the Smith Center. It was that good. You will not find a better atmosphere in sports, much less college basketball.
2. Huge free throws by Nate Britt, a freshman who has made a habit of making big second half free throws. His 4-4 down the stretch helped clinch the game.
3. Roy Williams indicated earlier this year that his team had improved guarding the ball. But the Tar Heels were scorched by Duke's dribble penetration in the first half. The Devils piled up 26 points in the paint in the first 20 minutes, doing it almost exclusively off the dribble. Duke had just four assists on 16 first half field goals.
However, they tightened up in the second half, and Duke wasn't nearly as successful driving to the hoop.
4. That was a master clinic by Roy Williams on changing defenses to stymie the Blue Devil offense. Carolina played significant helpings of man, 1-3-1 (for one of the first and only times in his career here) and 3-2. The changing defenses forced Duke to burn two timeouts that they would've liked to have had at the end.
5. What a day for Leslie McDonald to have the best day of his career. He made three-pointers. He made long two-point jumpers. He even scored driving to the hoop. With Duke suffocating Marcus Paige for most of the game, McDonald's contributions were critical.
6. The Tar Heels did a sensational job of guarding the three-point line. Duke shot just 5-for-22 from three. Meanwhile, Carolina kept pounding it inside and eventually turned that into a mammoth advantage of the free throw line, going 20-for-31 from the stripe while the Devils hit just 7-for-12.
7. Desmond Hubert has quietly been a huge part of the last two wins.
Adam Lucas is the editor of CAROLINA.