He went 4 of 13 from the floor and 1 of 7 from behind the arc for 14 points and turned the ball over eight times as the third-ranked Blue Devils fell 87-84 to Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.
Sunday, Williams had a very good game.
He went 12 of 22 from the floor, 8 of 15 from behind the arc for 37 points and turned the ball over just once as the Blue Devils thumped North Carolina 93-68 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
"It was his day," said Duke junior Mike Dunleavy.
Literally, it was.
Duke celebrated its Senior Day for Matt Christensen, whose seven-year Blue Devil career finally ended at home. Christensen spent two years as a Mormon missionary and redshirted when he returned to Durham.
But Duke also celebrated Williams and Carlos Boozer, both juniors, who are forgoing their final year of eligibility, graduating early and moving on to the NBA.
Williams exploded out of the gate against the Tar Heels. He hit three 3-pointers in less than three minutes, one from four feet behind the arc. Williams racked up 12 points by the first media timeout 4:06 into the game. He had 18 with 9:04 left in the first half, prompting Duke's Cameron Crazies to chant, "Jason's winning. Jason's winning."
UNC had 16 points on the board at the time.
Williams cruised the rest of the game, finishing one point shy of his career high. After the game, Williams said his recent play has suffered because of his preoccupation with personal matters. He would not specify what those problems were.
"When I prepare and become very emotional, I do other things than score," said Williams, who blamed Duke's three losses this season on the team getting too cocky and everyone doing his own thing. "It wasn't that I scored 37 points, that Mike (Dunleavy) scored how many points. It was our points."
Their points and their play made life difficult for the Tar Heels, who struggled in the first half. North Carolina shot a miserable 27.6 percent before halftime, with only Jason Capel reaching double digits. But 10 of Capel's 13 first-half points came from the free-throw line. The senior tied his career-high of 28 points, with 12-for-12 shooting at the line.
One of Capel's trips to the charity stripe came compliments of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who received the second of five technical fouls called Sunday.
Krzyzewski complained after Williams was called for fouling Brian Bersticker in the paint with 1:26 to go in the first half.
UNC coach Matt Doherty also got a technical, but his came earlier in the game. With 11:01 left in the first half, Duke junior transfer Dahntay Jones grabbed and pulled the rim after freshman teammate Daniel Ewing scored. Doherty objected loudly because he thought Ewing had fouled Brian Morrison when he stole the ball to begin the play.
Technicals were also given to Jason Williams and UNC's Adam Boone and Jawad Williams in the second half.
The second half was painful for the Tar Heels for more than just the technicals.
Although they shot 66.7 percent from the floor, they only attempted 18 field goals.
"You have to give credit to Duke's defense," said Doherty, whose Tar Heels fell to 8-19 overall, 4-12 in the ACC. "They really put great pressure on you, and they deny the passes when they have guys that can really anticipate so well like Dunleavy."
With 13 and a half minutes left in the game, Dunleavy's anticipation caused him to swipe the ball from Melvin Scott. He raced up the left side of the court and passed to Chris Duhon, who set Dunleavy up perfectly for a two-handed dunk.
Dunleavy and the Blue Devils will face the Tar Heels again in the ACC Tournament in Charlotte. UNC finished tied for seventh place in the conference with Clemson and Florida State, but because its record was 3-1 against the two, it won the tiebreaker and will face the No. 2 seed Blue Devils on Friday.
The Tar Heels also lost to Duke on Jan. 31 by 29 points. Boone said the Tar Heels know how to bounce back after having lost by a wide margin so many times.
Said senior center Kris Lang of Sunday's game, "It's not any harder than swallowing the rest of the season. It's tough."
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