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Feb 3, 2024 11:22 pm

Armando Bacot leads No. 3 North Carolina past No. 7 Duke

Armando Bacot had one of his bigger games of the season with 25 points, and it came at an ideal time for No. 3 North Carolina as the host Tar Heels picked apart No. 7 Duke for a 93-84 victory Saturday night at Chapel Hill, N.C.

Harrison Ingram poured in 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in his first game against Duke, Atlantic Coast Conference scoring leader RJ Davis finished with 17 points and Seth Tremble had 10 points off the bench for the Tar Heels, who had a 10-game winning streak snapped earlier in the week in a one-point loss at Georgia Tech.

North Carolina (18-4, 10-1 ACC) stretched its conference lead by defeating the second-place team.

The Tar Heels prevented any shot at a comeback from the Blue Devils (16-5, 7-3), who couldn’t string together stops on defense.

Duke’s Jared McCain scored 23 points in his first game against North Carolina and Kyle Filipowski had a solid second half to end up with 22 points. Jeremy Roach had 20 points and Mark Mitchell added 11 points.

Davis sank a 3-pointer to give North Carolina an 85-72 edge, and even five consecutive points from Duke didn’t pose much of a threat as Davis canned a pair of free throws at the 1:25 mark to restore a double-digit advantage.

It’s the first time in almost five years both teams were in the top 10 when they played. It was the 49th all-time meeting with both in the top 10.

Bacot, a fifth-year player, shot 10-for-13 from the floor on the way to matching his highest point total of the season, which was posted in the season opener against Radford.

During a stretch early in the second half, Duke scored on six of seven possessions, but reduced its deficit by only one point — largely because Ingram hit two 3s.

North Carolina was up 69-57 by the midway mark of the second half and Davis had only six points.

The Tar Heels shot 51.4 percent from the floor to lead 45-35 at halftime. The Blue Devils didn’t attempt a first-half free throw.

North Carolina snapped a two-game skid in the series for its first victory against Duke since the 2022 Final Four semifinals.

–Field Level Media

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