UNC Basketball: Best Games of 2014-2015 So Far

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Feb 18, 2015; Durham, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige (5) prepares to throw the ball in against the Duke Blue Devils in their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

#1: 92-90 OT loss at Duke

As much as it may pain UNC fans to see their team lose at Cameron Indoor Stadium, their February 18 battle against Duke was the most exciting game in the UNC-Duke rivalry in recent memory. Duke’s group of young, future NBA lottery picks took on UNC’s experienced upperclassmen in a classic game that saw huge shifts in momentum in front of the loudest crowd in college basketball.

Early in this game, any hope for UNC of sneaking out of Durham with a win seemed lost as none of their shots were falling, they struggled in the post against Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, and their defense failed to closeout on Duke’s shooters. The Blue Devils led by as much as 13 before UNC woke up and turned the tides. Brice Johnson (18 points) and Nate Britt (11 points) led the charge down the stretch to put the Tar Heels up 10 with under five minutes to go. Duke then once again caught fire as veteran Quin Cook, and freshman Tyus Jones (both with 22 points) led the last great momentum swing in Duke’s favor before sending the game into overtime where the Heels would later struggle to knock down shots in the end.

It’s games such as these that keep college basketball as big as it is. The rivalries, the multiple swings in momentum throughout a game, the great players being great, and great crowds coming out to support their teams. As the Tar Heels begin to look towards the conference tournament, fans should also look forward to more games like the ones listed above in a conference as strong as the ACC.