The North Carolina men's basketball team and Duke have played 248 times in the rivalry's history. Here is a list of five of the best games of the rivalry, spanning from 1974-2006.
March 2, 1974: No. 4 UNC 96, Duke 92, OT.
One of the earliest classics between the two rivals occurred in 1974. UNC was ranked No. 4 in the country heading into the game and boasted a 19-4 record.
With 17 seconds left to play in the contest, the Blue Devils held an eight-point lead in an era when there was no shot clock. UNC senior All-American Bobby Jones calmly walked to the free-throw line and hit two free throws to cut the lead to six points. On the next two inbounds play, Duke turned it over and UNC converted two layups in a row to make it an 86-84 game.
After getting the ball inbounds on the next possession, a Duke player missed a free throw and head coach Dean Smith called a timeout with three seconds left. Smith set up a play, Walter Davis received the ball at half court, took three dribbles and sank a 30-foot bank shot to send the game into overtime. In the extra period, the Tar Heels prevailed, 96-92.
Jan. 18, 1986: No. 1 UNC 95, No. 3 Duke 92
The Blue Devils and Tar Heels both came into this contest undefeated, boasting 16-0 and 17-0 records, respectively. Led by Johnny Dawkins, who would go on to win the Naismith Award that season, head coach Mike Krzyzewski's team wound up making the 1986 National Championship game and posting a school-best 37 wins.
However, one of Duke’s three losses that season came against UNC in the first game ever played at the Smith Center. Seniors Steve Hale and Brad Daugherty led the way for the Tar Heels on that day. Hale scored a career-high 28 points and Daugherty added 25 to give North Carolina the narrow victory.
The Blue Devils got revenge in March on Senior Night, defeating the Tar Heels 82-74 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Feb. 2, 1995: No. 2 UNC 102, Duke 100, 2 OT.
Led by sophomores Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed Wallace, UNC came into this game with a 16-1 mark on the season.
The Blue Devils were coached by assistant coach Pete Gaudet while Krzyzewski was in the hospital for exhaustion, yet they still put up a strong fight. North Carolina opened up a 17-point lead, but Duke rallied and sent the game into overtime. In the extra period, Jeff Capel hit a 30-foot shot to send the game into second overtime before the Tar Heels got the last laugh.
Wallace finished with 25 points on 10 of 11 shooting but he fouled out with 19 seconds left in regulation. In his absence, Stackhouse and senior guard Donald Williams stepped up. Williams finished with 24 points and hit the deciding jump shot to give UNC a 100-98 lead in the eventual win.
March 6, 2005: No. 2 UNC 75, No. 6 Duke 73.
Coming into the regular season finale at the Smith Center and the final home game for UNC’s top seven scorers, including Sean May and Raymond Felton, the Tar Heels were riding a six-game win streak.
Yet with just over three minutes to play, it looked like Duke was about to spoil the affair at the Smith Center after Lee Melchionni hit a 3-pointer to give his team a nine-point advantage. From there, it was all UNC. Senior Jawad Williams hit a tip in, first-year Marvin Williams hit two free throws and the lead was down to five.
May, who finished with 26 points and 24 rebounds, then converted an and-one to cut the lead down to two. After a missed shot by J.J. Redick, Felton went to the free-throw line with 21 seconds left in the game. He made the first shot but missed the second. However, Williams gathered the offensive rebound and converted a shot while drawing the foul to give UNC the one-point lead.
Williams made the subsequent free throw and Duke failed to tie the game as North Carolina went on to win the 2005 National Championship.
March 4, 2006: No. 13 UNC 83, No. 1 Duke 76.
On March 4, UNC marched to Cameron Indoor Stadium for J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams’ Senior Day. The Blue Devils boasted a 27-2 mark and were the No. 1 team in the nation.
Yet led by first-year Tyler Hansbrough, who earned first-team All-America honors that season, UNC trailed by just one point at halftime, 38-37. Halfway through the second half, the game was tied at 59 before UNC went on an 11-0 run. The Blue Devils cut the deficit to three points but first-year guard Bobby Frasor made two free throws to push the lead to five points.
After Williams made a dunk, Hansbrough sealed the game with four free throws to spoil the last home game for four Duke senior starters and he finished with a game-high 27 points and 10 rebounds.
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