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North Carolina bloodied, but still beats Duke

Knight Ridder Newspapers

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Blood was on the court, on his shirt and in his mouth as Raymond Felton walked to the North Carolina bench with a hungry grin that suggested he liked its taste. Behind him it was borderline bedlam, with UNC coach Matt Doherty shouting at Duke assistant Chris Collins before being pushed away by Duke guard Andre Buckner.

Felton needed three stitches, but not now. There was a game to win, and he intended to win it.

"I wouldn't say revenge," Felton mumbled later. "But…you; know."

Absolutely. Anyone who saw North Carolina's 82-79 victory Sunday against No. 10 Duke knows. They know they might not see a game like that again.

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"They'll remember this game forever," Doherty said.

Maybe longer. The Tar Heels scored 10 points in the final 74 seconds, and it almost wasn't enough. Duke senior Dahntay Jones thought he forced overtime with a running three-pointer at the buzzer.

Jones was in something of a zone the entire second half, scoring 20 of his 22 points as assistant coach Johnny Dawkins yelled over and over, "Be a man!" At the end he immersed himself in the moment, blocking out the screaming crowd and the buzzing horn as he released the shot an instant late. "I didn't hear anything," Jones said. "I thought it was good. Finding out it wasn't, that was deflating to say the least."

The outcome guaranteed the Tar Heels (16-14, 6-10 ACC) a spot in a national postseason tournament while relegating Duke (21-6, 11-5) to the third seed in this week's ACC tournament at Greensboro.

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