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No. 2 Duke 95, No. 4 North Carolina 81

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Students on Duke's campus celebrated the team's win with the traditional bonfire at the Quad.(WRAL-TV5 News)
CHAPEL HILL — It was raining inside and outside of the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill.

The Blue Devils (26-4, 13-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), playing at a breakneck offensive pace without their top inside threat, made ACC history by winning or tying for their fifth straight league title with Sunday's 95-81 victory over the Tar Heels.

Duke lost by two to the Tar Heels (23-5, 13-3) in Durham a month ago, missing 14 of 27 free throws, but remained alive for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament with a dominating offensive show this time.

Duke's two stars were the heroes in the Tobacco Road rematch as the Blue Devils were 14-for-38 from 3-point range without center Carlos Boozer, who watched from the bench with a broken bone in his right foot.

Jason Williams scored 33 points and Shane Battier added 25 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks as Duke won its third straight in Chapel Hill for the first time since the early 1960s.

ACC scoring leader Joseph Forte led the Tar Heels with 21 points.

Williams came into the game shooting 36 percent against the Tar Heels in his career, but the point guard was money in this one, going 7-for-13 from 3-point range while Battier was 4-for-10.

The 38 3-point attempts tied a school record set earlier this season against North Carolina A&T.

Duke led by two at halftime, but gradually pulled away midway through the second half. The Blue Devils went up 72-57 with 11:55 left on a layup by Mike Dunleavy, who along with the rest of his teammates looked twice as quick as the Tar Heels, who were repeatedly beaten down the floor.

North Carolina coach Matt Doherty tried to fire his team up by getting a technical two minutes later, but his team could only pull within 10 as he was forced to bench big men Brendan Haywood and Kris Lang for much of the second half to try to match up with Duke.

The Tar Heels were shooting for their first outright ACC regular-season title in eight seasons, but the Smith Center crowd instead exited early on Senior Day as Duke improved to 19-0 this season when scoring 90 or more points.

The victory also gave Duke an ACC-record 124 wins over a four-year period, breaking the mark of the Duke teams from 1989-92. From staff and wire reports



Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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