No. 1 Duke’s 88-72 loss to No. eight North Carolina wasn’t the largest story Wednesday.
Blue Devils freshman Zion Williamson left the matchup at Cameron Indoor Stadium early within the first half with a gentle knee sprain and was dominated out a short while later.
After Williamson’s harm, North Carolina pulled away and cruised to the victory.
Listed here are three takeaways from the Tar Heels’ rivalry-game win:
Duke will not be the identical with out Zion
This one’s apparent, however the Blue Devils usually are not the identical workforce with out their star.
Williamson suffered the harm whereas dribbling towards the basket about 40 seconds into the sport when his Nike sneaker ripped. He fell all the way down to the ground and grabbed his leg earlier than heading to the Duke bench after which the locker room.
Zion Williamson is so highly effective he annihilated his shoe… pic.twitter.com/H9GxcP67pj
— Chris Montano (@gswchris) February 21, 2019
The freshman makes an affect on each ends of the ground for Duke and, as soon as he exited the sport, it had no solutions for North Carolina.
The Blue Devils shot simply 34.7 % from the sphere within the matchup. In the meantime, the Tar Heels picked aside the opposing protection as they knocked down 50.7 % of their pictures.
Williamson has been among the finest gamers in faculty basketball this season and he’s anticipated to be chosen with the No. 1 decide within the 2019 NBA Draft.
The Blue Devils’ depth might be examined
The Blue Devils rely closely on their star gamers and don’t have many dependable contributors on their bench. Their depth might be examined if Williamson misses an prolonged interval.
RJ Barrett (33 factors) and Cam Reddish (27 factors) are reliable scorers who delivered in Williamson’s absence. They’ll each be high draft picks and will proceed placing up massive numbers.
However, the Blue Devils obtained simply 12 whole factors outdoors of these two freshmen. They’ll want position gamers like Alex O’Connell and Marques Bolden to step up if Williamson will not be within the lineup.
North Carolina takes benefit
Make no mistake, this was nonetheless a giant win for the Tar Heels regardless that Duke performed virtually your entire recreation with out Williamson.
North Carolina is now tied atop the ACC standings with each Duke and Virginia with 5 convention video games remaining. It’s actually in rivalry for an additional league title, which might be decided March 9, when the Tar Heels meet the Blue Devils once more, this time on the Dean E. Smith Middle.
Tar Heels ahead Luke Maye tallied 30 factors and 15 rebounds to steer North Carolina to the victory whereas Cam Johnson chipped in 26. Garrison Brooks added 14 factors and eight rebounds.