The final score won’t tell the story of this game. The largest lead prior to the final minute was 7. There were two things that cost Duke this game.
First, Gerald Henderson was completely ineffective the entire game. He went over 20 minutes without scoring a basket. For a guy as vital to our success as Henderson, this was the softest 14 point performance I’ve ever seen.
Second, the referees definitely did not call the game in our favor. I don’t want to make this sound like sour grapes. They let a lot slide, which meant when our guys were driving to the basket, we weren’t getting foul calls. Couple that with a couple of offensive fouls we got called for that were very borderline, and you have a loss instead of a photo finish.
All that being said, we played the type of game we needed to in order to beat NC. It just didn’t work out in our favor. This gives me a lot of confidence going into the ACC tournament, where I’ll be in attendance starting Thursday. Look for updates each night from the ACC tournament in Atlanta.