Tre Jones found magic twice after missing free throws in the final seconds. And only one was by design.
On the first with his team down two, Jones purposely missed a free throw late in regulation and tied the game on a jumper at the horn after getting the rebound. Later, this time in overtime and with the game tied, Jones missed a free throw, yet the ball somehow got back to Duke. This time, Jones missed the jumper — and it ended up with a Wendell Moore Jr. putback at the buzzer to shock UNC.
No. 7 Duke somehow won at rival North Carolina, 98-96 on overtime on Saturday night. Coming into the game, the two rivals were tied at 50 wins and 7,746 points in there last 100 meetings.
Saturday was simply another intense episode of the rivalry.
Despite coming into the game only 10-12 overall and 3-8 in the ACC, UNC led for most of the game. But a crazy Duke rally from down 13 late culminated with Jones’ shot to sent it to OT.
Before Moore’s putback in OT, Jones had scored 18 of Duke’s most recent 21 points. He finished with 28 points on 11-for-25 shooting while adding six assists, five rebounds and three steals.
Four players fouled out (Duke’s Cassius Stanley and Vernon Carey Jr. after 22 and 18 points and UNC’s Armando Bacot and Leaky Black scored 12 and 8 points) as the game kept adding drama.
Freshman Cole Anthony had 24 points, 11 rebounds and four assists while going a clutch 9-for-10 on foul shots. From off the bench, Christian Keeling and Justin Pierce combined for 24 points on 10-for-16 shooting.
Duke (20-3 overall, 10-2 ACC) has now won five games in a row. Earlier on Saturday, the NCAA DI Men’s Basketball Selection Committee currently had Duke as a No. 2 seed, as announced during its annual in-season top-16 reveal. That top 16 takes into account the season as if it ended Friday, Feb. 7. But there’s a lot of basketball still to be played before Selection Sunday on March 15.
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UNC outshot the Blue Devils 52.2 percent to 42.5 percent and were plus-9 on rebounds, but UNC also committed 18 turnovers and missed 17 of 38 foul shots.
The two teams will play again on Saturday, March 7 at Duke.