The Blue Devils (19-5, 7-4) dropped a full four games behind the second-ranked Virginia team that started this slide by coming to Cameron Indoor Stadium and handing them a 65-63 loss on Jan. 27.
This one was particularly tough for the Blue Devils, both because it came against their fiercest rival and because it bore such a strong resemblance to the one that preceded it, an 81-77 setback against a St. John's team that entered winless in its conference.
But while coach Mike Krzyzewski called his team's play against St. John's "disgusting," he came away from the UNC loss with a better feeling.
The biggest one may have been when senior Grayson Allen threw the ball to UNC's Kenny Williams with 20 seconds left in a two-possession game, leading directly to a game-sealing dunk by Theo Pinson.
Some struggles are inevitable with a roster full of freshmen, and Duke starts four potential one-and-done players along with Allen.
And with this much talent on the roster, things can turn back around in a hurry.The Blue Devils had a similar stretch of three losses in six games in 2015 behind a freshman-dominated team, then flipped the switch in March and claimed the program's fifth national title.
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- 'I'd say it was an F:' Rebounding woes in second half doom Duke men's basketballDuke Chronicle
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- Tar Heels take over on boards in second half to beat Blue Devils, 82-78WRALSportsFan.com
- Cam Johnson shows star power on biggest of stages: Duke-North CarolinaSporting News
- Tillie helps No. 12 Gonzaga hold off Pacific, 71-61Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Ed Hardin: UNC renders Duke clueless in stunning winGreensboro News & Record