The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Rivalry Week Recap

Yesterday, the Confidential noted that February 8, 2012, featured two of the best rivalries in college basketball–Duke/North Carolina & Syracuse/Georgetown.  The games certainly ended up living up to the hype.

In the premier ACC match up of the day, Duke’s Austin Rivers hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Duke an 85-84 win at North Carolina.  North Carolina led by as many as 13 points in the second-half.  They also led by 10 points with less than 3 minutes remaining. But Duke was able to gradually chip away at the margin down the stretch. For North Carolina, this will certainly be a painful loss.  There was the blown lead.  The errant tip-in.  The missed free throws.   And ANY loss to Duke already hurts.

Rivers was not just the hero at the end, but scored 29 points to lead all scorers.  Harrison Barnes and Tyler Zeller scored 25 and 23, respectively, for North Carolina.  Josh Henson had an impressive 17 rebounds, while Zeller added 11.  Mason Plumlee led Duke with 14 rebounds.  Both teams are now 7-2 in conference play and 20-4 overall.

Up in Syracuse, it took an overtime period, but the Orange defeated the Georgetown Hoyas, 64-61.  In the process, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim won his 880th career game, moving him out of a tie with North Carolina’s legendary coach Dean Smith for third place all-time.

Much like Rivers, Syracuse’s Kris Joseph was the hero–scoring 29 points and hitting a three-pointer with 29 seconds left that provided the final margin of victory.  This game was incredibly close throughout as neither team led by more than 6 points, while there more than a dozen lead changes and ties.  Both teams also played stifling defense–neither team shot more than 35% from the field.

Georgetown was led by Otto Porter’s 14 points and 13 rebounds.  In addition to Joseph, Fab Melo scored 11 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and blocked 6 shots.  With the win, Syracuse moves to 24-1 overall, including an 11-1 record in conference games.

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