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March 6, 2010DURHAM, N.C. - If you could take four years of pent-up frustration and cram it into 40 minutes of basketball, it would probably look a lot like this.
After losing for four straight games to North Carolina on its home floor, Duke got its revenge in unrelenting fashion, blowing the Tar Heels out 82-50.
"This is about as nasty as it gets," said fifth-year senior Marcus Ginyard, who had never lost a game here.
While the home losing streak against UNC was probably enough motivation on its own, the fourth-ranked Blue Devils (26-5, 13-3 in the ACC) also earned a share of the ACC regular-season title with the win.
Duke led by as many as 36 in the second half after blowing things open early against the clearly overmatched Tar Heels (16-15, 5-11), who shot 33 percent and had just six second-half field goals.
"I was shocked from the get-go," said point guard Larry Drew II, who finished with three points and two assists.
Kyle Singler led the Blue Devils with 25, while Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith put in 20 points each. Smith and Scheyer also combined for 12 assists and no turnovers.
No one on the Carolina side was close to having a game that could compete with that.
It was Carolina's largest margin of defeat ever at Cameron Indoor Stadium and its second-worst loss overall in the rivalry.
Fans here started multiple chants of "N-I-T" at the Tar Heels' expense, but even that tournament is not a postseason certainty for Carolina, which finished the season with its worst ACC record since a 4-12 mark in 2002.
Any momentum the Heels might have had from finally winning back-to-back ACC games quickly evaporated in the opening minutes.
"It hurts that we didn't come prepared to play," said Will Graves, who was scoreless in 23 minutes of play. "This whole year has been something different. We've got to keep learning."
Prior to the game, UNC coach Roy Williams said his one of his bigger concerns was being able to keep up with the Blue Devils on the scoreboard.
He was right to be worried.
The Tar Heels managed just three field goals in the game's opening 11 minutes, and by the time that third one went in, all it did was cut Carolina's deficit to 20 points.
Duke, which shot nearly 52 percent in the first half and almost 54 from 3-point range, had no such problems.
The Blue Devils "big three"- Scheyer, Singler and Smith-alone were throttling the Tar Heels early on.
The trio scored 44 of the Blue Devils' first 47 points, and any combination of two of the three would have been outscoring Carolina at halftime.
"They're big-time players," Ginyard said. "When they're all going off at the same time, it's tough for any team to handle. They were getting all the shots they wanted."
Duke led by 30 just before the break, when a Ginyard buzzer-beating three cut the lead to a still-impressive 53-26 going into the locker room.
By then it was clear that the Tar Heels simply couldn't keep up with Duke.
"Every single one of them looked like they wanted to get after us," Ginyard said. "For us not to want to get after them right back is tough to explain."
Even harder to explain for the fifth-year senior was the feeling he experienced looking up at the scoreboard in the second half to see his team trailing by 30 points after four years of beating the Blue Devils on their home floor.
"I couldn't believe it," he said. "Four times was nice, but that ended tonight."