The NCAA regular part of the season ended last night, and there were several big games, some of them which even decided the title. We are here to tell you all about them.
UNC Sweeps Season Series Against Duke
In the NCAA classic between the No.3 North Carolina Tar Heels (26-5, 14-4 Conf) and the No.4 Duke Blue Devils (26-5, 16-2 Conf), the hosts had more nerves and power and defeated the guests who were once again without Zion Williamson. It was 79-70 for Roy Williams’ boys, who share the ACC title with No.2 Virginia.
Now, even without Zion, Duke was excellent and was on top throughout most of the first half, in fact, they had a tight lead at the end of the same, 40-38. But as soon as the second half started things began to change. Tar Heels took over the control of the match, and in no time they were up. Significantly up.
With Kenny Williams’ three with 6:47 to go, UNC was leading 75-60. But, the Blue Devils got back because, after that downtown hit, the hosts couldn’t score almost 6 minutes. Guests got back to five points but didn’t have enough fuel to go all the way.
“We were down by 15 and we put ourselves in a position where we had a chance,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “I’m proud of the fact that our guys put us in that position. … We’ll be OK if we keep doing that.”
Coach Roy Williams told his seniors not to worry because they have to go after this season, telling them that they are going to do that as the champions of the conference.
” We’re going to cut down that frickin’ net as ACC champions,” the veteran coach said.
Coby White was once again fantastic, scoring 21 points, Kenny Williams had 18 with 6 rebounds, Cameron Johnson 14 and 10 boards.
With Duke, it was all as usual. RJ Barrett 26 with 12 boards and 4 dimes, and Cam Reddish 23 buckets.
Michigan State Better Than the Big Rivals
No.9 Michigan State Spartans (25-6, 16-4 Conf) edged out their biggest rivals, No.7 Michigan Wolverines (26-5, 15-5 Conf) 75-63 and alongside Purdue finish on top of the Big Ten Conference.
But although it might seem that the Spartans won this one without too many problems, the situation o the court was quite the opposite. The Wolverines were the ones who dictated the tempo and had a strong lead until the middle of the second half.
It was almost five and a half minute since the tip-off when they created a double-digit advantage, 17-7. In general, this distance was kept until the halftime when guests hit the locker room with a 6-point lead, 35-29.
And that was the situation until 10:47 when Xavier Tillman leveled the score at 50-50. In no time, the Spartans made a 15-2 burst which eventually broke the defiance of the stunned guests, and provided the win for the hosts.
The initial spark for this surge was Cassius Winston, who hit five straight points after leveling the score, and who finished the night with 23 points, although being awful in the opening 20 minutes.
“Michigan was bothering him in the first half,” coach Tom Izzo said about Winston who had 1 of eight in that period.
Tilman scored 17 points, while Kenny Goins had 9 but with fantastic 16 boards.
Ignas Brazdeikis had 20 for the guests, Jordan Poole 15.
Cavaliers Beat Louisville
No,2 Virginia Cavaliers (28-2, 16-2 Conf) earned their share of the ACC title with a win over the Louisville Cardinals (19-12, 10-8 Conf) 73-68.
This is their ninth title in the school history, and forth over the recent six years. Alongside Duke, North Carolina, and other teams, this comes as a huge thing.
“You have to be thankful for that, but we’ve got to stay humble, and we have to know what we’re still trying to do,” said Ty Jerome after the game, which was very dynamic and interesting, involving few ups and downs of the hosts.
At first, the Cavaliers led, until Cardinals took that for one brief moment in the late part of the first halftime. However, the hosts bounced back with a 10-0 jump closing this part of the event in their favor. The guests turned the situation immediately after the start of the second half and were ahead for almost 15 minutes. Still, Virginia showed all its qualities and finished the game in their favor.
Jerome had 24 points and 6 dimes, Kyle Guy 13. For the visitors Jordan Nwora had 19.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write, read, and bet on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a betting tips writer at WagerBop.