Armstrong: Zion's injury changed game, but give Heels credit

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- You can add the ability to spontaneously combust a shoe to the Zion Williamson highlight reel. It's hard to imagine the psi (ZSI?) he applies to his footwear, all 285 pounds of ferocious force and finesse suddenly cutting and heading the other way.

Whatever the number, it was too much Wednesday night, and at that moment, Duke's chances seemed to shred just like Williamson's Nike.

It's a team game to be sure, but even UNC coach Roy Williams admitted after the game how that moment completely altered the contest.

Still, it's entirely to North Carolina's credit that they seized on the moment and dominated the contest from that point forward. It was a layup line - a remarkable 62 points in the paint for the Heels when it was all done. Luke Maye (30 points 15 rebs) looked to be playing with State-red contacts in, such was his destruction of the Devils defense.

Cam Johnson and Garrison Brooks also had their way. The Heels were so good, they didn't even need Coby White for the most part.

The Heels were 2-for-20 from 3-point range, and you would've thought beforehand that would have cooked Carolina, but the calculus changed in this one early on.

The massively relieving news for Duke: It's just a mild knee sprain for Williamson. The entire college basketball universe gasped for a few moments. Everyone can breathe again.

It shows how integral Zion is to the Devils' efforts. Even with exemplary nights from RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish, Duke was never in the game. Jack White's ongoing 3-point drought (missed all five attempts in this one) is the most perplexing streak in the ACC.

Until they meet again.
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