Duke blown out by North Carolina after Zion Williamson injury

No. 9 North Carolina blew out No. 1 Duke 88-72 at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Wednesday night after Blue Devils star freshman Zion Williamson went down with a knee injury in the first minute of the game. 

After Williamson’s exit, the result of a bizarre incident where his shoe blew apart when he planted, it was all UNC. The Tar Heels took advantage of an ice-cold Duke team missing one of its main offensive catalysts. The Blue Devils shot just 35 percent from the floor, including an 8-for-39 mark from 3-point range. 

While North Carolina was actually less prolific from beyond the arc (2-for-20), the Tar Heels were much better inside, scoring over 60 points in the paint – perhaps partially attributed to Williamson’s absence. Overall UNC shot 51 percent from the field and got 20-plus-point games out of Luke Maye (30 points) and Cameron Johnson (26). 

More: Zion Williamson blows apart sneaker, heads to locker room with game-ending knee injury

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Freshmen R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish combined for 60 points for Duke, but the rest of the lineup managed just 12 points. 

Williamson’s health is Duke’s greater concern – the extent of his knee injury is currently unclear – but the loss dropped the Blue Devils into a three-way tie atop the Atlantic Coast Conference with North Carolina and No. 3 Virginia. All three teams are 11-2 in ACC play. The Blue Devils have handed the Cavaliers their only two losses on the season.

Duke and North Carolina rematch in Chapel Hill on March 9. 

More to come


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