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Mike Lopresti | | March 6, 2022

15 reasons why North Carolina's win over Duke was so improbable

Reaction: UNC spoils Coach K's final game at Cameron Indoor

North Carolina: Party crasher.    

Somehow, the final score Saturday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium was never part of the plan. There were to be emotion, drama, noise, maybe tears. But a Tar Heels' victory? The 94-81 result came accompanied with a batch of numbers worth the compelling moment. Here are 15 of them.    

1. Four North Carolina players scored at least 20 points: Armando Bacot with 23, Caleb Love 22, RJ Davis 22, Brady Manek 20. That had never happened before in 3,153 games of Tar Heels' basketball.

SPOILER: Here's how North Carolina took down Duke

2. An unranked North Carolina beat a top-5 Duke opponent in Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first time in 32 years.  

3. Duke now has five losses. The first four were by a combined nine points. This was by 13.    

4. Bacot took 11 shots and made 10 for his 23 points. Love missed his first eight shots but recovered for his 22.

5. Krzyzewski will finish 50-47 against North Carolina unless they meet again in the ACC or NCAA tournaments. The 47 represents 12.8 percent of the games Krzyzewski ever lost at Duke.    

6. The past 100 games of this series are dead even, 50-50.    

7. Hubert Davis was the fifth North Carolina coach Krzyzewski has faced at Duke. Unless the Blue Devils get another chance in the tournaments, he will be the only one Krzyzewski never beat.    

8. Duke had not allowed an opponent to score 80 points in 23 games in a row, back to Gonzaga in November.    

9. North Carolina lost 87-67 to Duke in Chapel Hill in early February. That's a 33-point swing in one month, and done on the road.    

BEST OF THE BEST: Here are Coach K's 11 best teams at Duke

10. North Carolina was down 41-39 at halftime. The Tar Heels had lost eight games in a row when trailing at half.    

11. None of the North Carolina starters left the court in the second half. The Tar Heels' bench contributed only 14 minutes, two shots, one rebound, no assists and two points all game. Duke had a 17-2 advantage in bench points.    

12. Paolo Banchero took 26 of Duke's 69 field goal attempts — 37 percent.    

13. It was just last season that the two teams met with both unranked for the first time since 1960.    

14. So much for the whistles going Krzyzewski's way on his big night. The Tar Heels had 19-6 in free throws.  

15. Krzyzewski's final Cameron record is 572-76. The Tar Heels accounted for one-quarter of those defeats. So maybe this is the way it was supposed to end.

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