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March 3, 2012
THI Newsstand: March 3
Just in case you've been living under a rock, here's a tip - Duke and UNC are playing tomorrow. David Glenn has been talking about this game from every angle this week on his radio show, and has brought in plenty of prominent guests to talk all things Tar Heel and Blue Devil.
A breakdown of today's ACC games as the regular-season comes to an end.
Dick Vitale is 72 years old, but there are at least a couple of times a year when he feels like a much younger man, times when he even feels the kind of excitement he felt as a boy. One of those times will come tonight, when ESPN's Hall of Fame college basketball announcer is back in the broadcast booth at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium for another Duke-North Carolina game.
A video breakdown of the Top 5 all-time UNC-Duke comebacks.
Round two for Duke and UNC in cozy Cameron ... plenty of seats left for Wake Forest at Georgia Tech ... Canes welcome last-place BC ... Clemson in running for fourth-place with win at FSU ... reeling Cavaliers take on Terps ... a Wolfpack win over Hokies keeps N.C. State's NCAA hopes alive.
In the days after Austin Rivers' buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave Duke a one-point victory over North Carolina at the Smith Center, UNC sophomore Kendall Marshall understood when TV broadcasts would replay the shot over and over. Because it was such a big moment, he was even okay with seeing it on other ACC games not involving Duke or UNC. But when he switched to a Big 10 game and once again was confronted with Rivers' shot, he decided it was time to get away from college basketball.
By now the final seconds of North Carolina's 85-84 loss to Duke nearly a month ago are seared in memories on both sides of the rivalry. Austin Rivers dribbles off a Mason Plumlee screen and finds himself matched up with Tar Heels center Tyler Zeller. The two stare down one another, Rivers taking three dribbles with his right hand in a sequence that covers four seemingly endless seconds. In an instant, the Duke freshman sets his feet, rises and fires. Zeller's arm flies up to contest the shot, but it's too late. The buzzer sounds. The shot goes through. Duke wins.
With the gravitas that comes with four NCAA titles and more wins than any other coach in men's college basketball history, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski doesn't usually break his controlled facade. He has the air of someone who has stared down - and likely bettered - most everything. But when he talks about the team he takes into tonight's showdown with North Carolina, which will determine the ACC's regular season title, he does so with a touch of honest astonishment.
North Carolina swingman Harrison Barnes can't even use the men's room on campus without hearing about the Tar Heels' hyped rematch Saturday night with despised rival Duke. Barnes says the barrage of well-wishers and advisers on how to beat the Blue Devils are never ending. He's basically sought refuge from it as much as he can since beating Maryland on Wednesday night.
The titans of ACC basketball will clash today to determine a champion. North Carolina will play Duke at 7 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and for the second consecutive season, and the seventh overall, the ACC's outright regular-season title is at stake in a finale between the two. The winner will take the title and the No. 1 seed in next week's ACC tournament. The loser will be the No. 2 seed. The outcome could also help the winner land a No. 1 seed for the NCAA tournament.