On Saturday, No. 3 UNC and No. 4 Duke meet in Chapel Hill for the second leg of the greatest rivalry in college basketball. The Tar Heels will go for their third straight win against the Blue Devils.
The matchup has me thinking about another UNC win during that stretch — last year's ACC Tournament semifinal game, which UNC won, 74-69.
The game was a gem from North Carolina, the No. 6 seed in the ACC tournament. I'll remember it fondly as the last great moment from Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson in UNC uniforms, as the Tar Heels went on to fall to Virginia in the championship game, and then lost to Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Yet in this game, Berry and Pinson led UNC in a masterpiece. Pinson, at 6-foot-6, held 6-foot-11 Marvin Bagley III, the 2018 ACC Player of the Year, in check for most of the game. They also carved up Duke's zone.
There were plenty of highlights, including this Garrison Brooks dunk on NBA lottery pick Wendell Carter Jr.
And, most satisfyingly, Berry and Pinson won their last matchup with Duke's Grayson Allen. During the game, Allen reminded the country why he was so controversial in the first place. This butt-bump into Brooks knocked him down on the fastbreak. We saw that Allen, who apologized earlier in the season after a tripping incident against Elon, clearly hadn't changed his ways.
UNC survived Duke's comeback and a last second Allen 3-pointer that would have tied the game. Though Allen and Duke went further than North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament, Pinson and Berry went out winning the head-to-head matchup.
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