Armando Bacot and Harrison Ingram each posted double-doubles to help No. 3 North Carolina beat No. 7 Duke 93-84 on Saturday night in the latest renewal of the fierce rivalry.
The 6-foot-11 Bacot finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds, while the 6-7 Ingram was a force all over the court with 21 points, 13 rebounds and four steals. It was an example of how much more productive and deeper the rotation is after an offseason overhaul, which has helped UNC (18-4, 10-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) push to the top of the league standings.
That helped UNC stay in control on a night when ACC scoring leader RJ Davis faced constant defensive attention before coming on late to score 17 points despite 5-of-14 shooting.
Ingram was busy everywhere. He made 5-of-9 3-pointers, including one from the corner with Jeremy Roach within breath’s reach, then had a dive-on-the-floor play in the paint to save a possession and ultimately set up a corner 3-pointer from Cormac Ryan.
It was part of a night in which UNC played with tenacity backed by a crowd roaring at ear-ringing levels to put the Blue Devils (16-5, 7-3) in a night-long uphill climb in the first matchup with both teams ranked since the 2018-19 season.
The Tar Heels led 45-35 at halftime, and never let Duke closer than eight through the second half by consistently coming up with timely scores or rebound-sealing stops.
Freshman Jared McCain had 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Blue Devils, while star big man Kyle Filipowski added 22 points but only five rebounds in his marquee matchup with Bacot inside.
Duke: The Blue Devils arrived with plenty of momentum, having won three straight and going 7-1 in January. Duke did plenty right offensively (shooting 50.7%) but the Blue Devils committed 11 turnovers — the biggest when Proctor threw away an inbounds to Ryan with Duke down 88-80 with 43 seconds left — that led to 19 points for the Tar Heels.
UNC: The Tar Heels started 9-0 in ACC play for their best start in 23 years before Tuesday’s loss at Georgia Tech ended their overall win streak at 10 games since falling to reigning national champion Connecticut and Kentucky in December. This was a big way to get back on track.
Duke: The Blue Devils host Notre Dame on Wednesday night.
UNC: The Tar Heels host Clemson on Tuesday night.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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