Ed and I chopped it up on The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Radio Show last night in regards to UNC and Duke no longer having the sole stranglehold on high school recruiting. Still, we were both in agreement in its standing as a truly iconic rivalry. And Austin Rivers reminded the world why in Chapel Hill Wednesday night. Where Tyler Zeller dominated the first half and Harrison Barnes awoke in the second half, Carolina looked in control of the game stringing together fast break chances as well as mid range jumpers while Duke found itself launching three after three after three after three.
Everything appeared textbook until UNC put their game in cruise control and saw the Blue Devils charge back from as many as 12 down to cut the game to within one possession following a 10-2 with the clock waning. A Zeller goal tending call as well as crucial missed free throws left the door open for Duke. Austin, with this father, Doc, in attendance, had a moment he later dubbed as “the best of his life.” Pending the trajectory his career takes, this could be only the beginning. Anywho, the young Rivers took advantage of a mismatch off a screen leaving Zeller on him playing virtually no defense. He elevated, drained the shot and proceeded to stomp on the proverbial nuts that were UNC’s and their legion of fans.
Love Duke, hate Duke; love UNC, hate UNC. Regardless how the pie is sliced, Austin Rivers put the team on his back – so what if he “didn’t make his teammates better” for this game – and had his coming out party to the nation with 29 points (on 6-10 three pointers) and five rebounds. The shot in question was so cold blooded Rick James even blushed in heaven.