Duke took the lead for good with 1:09 to play on the strength of two Grayson Allen free throws. Brandon Ingram was sensational down the stretch pumping in 20 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
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Allen hit a pair of free throws with 1:09 left for the lead on a night when the Blue Devils (20-6, 9-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed most of the way. Then Duke came up with a pair of stops in the final minute, first on a shot attempt inside in traffic by Kennedy Meeks.
The Heels had the ball and a chance at the win as the clock wound down, but Joel Berry got bogged down before throwing up a wild shot that Derryck Thornton got a piece of. Roy Williams decided not to take a time out and blamed himself for the loss. The lack of timeout will be a hot topic as this one is mulled over.
The Tar Heels were swept by the Blue Devils last year despite leading in both games. The hosts coughed up another lead to the undermanned visitors from Durham. That's four straight wins for Duke in the series.
The Brice is right on this night. UNC senior Brice Johnson turned in another monster performance with 29 points and 19 rebounds. He gobbled up several offensive rebounds in the first half for easy jams. But it wasn't enough.
Lets go ahead and give this guy the game ball. 20 points and 10 boards in a stunner pic.twitter.com/Q1lMy3NP0x— Joe Mazur (@joemazurabc11) February 18, 2016
Things looked bleak for Duke when guard Matt Jones went down with a left ankle injury in the first half. He was seen leaving the locker room on crutches. Potentially a big blow well past the finish in Chapel Hill.
"We just hung in there," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
The Blue Devils were dealt another blow when Marshall Plumlee picked up his fourth foul with almost 14 minutes left to play.
Still, Duke kept it close behind freshman sensation Ingram and sophomore Allen who finished with 23 points.
The loss moved UNC into a tie with Miami in the ACC with five games to play.
The Tar Heels host the Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile an even more-thin Duke travels to Louisville.
UNC (21-5, 10-3) led 46-42 at halftime.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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