North Carolina played an incredible first half of basketball in its game at Duke on Wednesday night. The Blue Devils, Nolan Smith especially, were entirely unprepared for Kendall Marshall, who drove into the lane at will, while the defensive combination of Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bullock completely stymied Kyle Singler. The half ended with the Tar Heels holding a commanding a 14-point lead at 43-29 and in firm possession of all the momentum.
It's just too bad they never played the second half. Duke decided to show up, however, and won the game 79-73 thanks mostly to Nolan Smith and Seth Curry catching fire. But as for North Carolina, blog Carolina March explains that they never even bothered to show up:
Oh, you may read about a second half. There are some people out there who have even invented a Duke victory and a final score. But that's patently absurd. You don't come back from that kind of deficit. Obviously, huge reversals like that would require Duke to score four points on trips down the floor or something. Ridiculous. I wonder why the rest of the game was canceled. But to humor those other news outlets, we'll pretend their mythical "second half" actually occurred.
North Carolina can't be miserable over this loss for too long. They're still No. 2 in the ACC and they need to regroup for Clemson this Saturday. Also, they'll have to get ready for their rematch with the Blue Devils on March 5th. Hopefully they actually show up for both halves in that one.