Despite Duke featuring only nine wrestlers, forfeiting six team points at the 133-pound weight class, UNC simply couldn’t pull away.
After starting the match with a 9-3 lead, the absence of No. 5 Evan Henderson — who was not feeling well due to stomach problems — at the 149-pound weight class started a three-match slide that put UNC behind 15-9.
Within that slide, Coach Coleman Scott elected to play redshirt first-year Jack Clark. The decision ended up costing the Tar Heels, as Clark was pinned in the third period.
While UNC battled back to claim the lead, the inconsistency — which seemed inconsequential against Navy — cost the Tar Heels the dual.
The small lead UNC had established was not enough, as the Tar Heels lost the dual by just four points after dropping their final two matches — putting a damper on what was a stellar start.
“What you do in the practice room is always a prime example of what you’re going to do out here. It’s not going to change. So we’ve got to change some habits.” — Scott on his team’s shortcomings down the stretch against Duke.
The loss to Duke marked UNC's first defeat against the Blue Devils since 2004. Before the 2004 loss, the Tar Heels had won 30 consecutive matches against Duke since the 1973-74 campaign.
Three numbers that matter
11: Redshirt sophomore Ethan Ramos put up 11 team points, scoring a pin and a technical fall against Navy and Duke, respectively. Ramos, ranked No. 2 in the nation, has consistently earned extra points for his team.
3: Scott made three lineup changes between the Navy dual and the Duke dual. All three substitutes lost their bouts against Duke.
1: In the deciding match against the Blue Devils, first-year Cory Daniel lost by just one point. The score was tied at the end of the third period, but Daniel lost on a point awarded to Duke for riding time.
The Tar Heels will take on Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Carmichael Arena.