Harrison Barnes mocks Cameron Crazies
DURHAM, N.C. — North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes didn't hesitate when asked about what he was doing when Duke's Miles Plumlee fouled out with 58 seconds left and the Tar Heels leading their hated rivals by 18 points on Saturday night.
The 6-foot-8 Barnes slowly walked toward Duke's famed student section known as the "Cameron Crazies" smiling and clapping with his hands raised above his head. It was a slow, methodical clap, one that certainly wasn't in unison with the fans sharing their warm regard for the senior, whose Cameron career was coming to an end.
Not even close.
"Yeah, there was some mocking and also congratulating him on a good season," Barnes admitted, smiling again.
He wasn't mocking Plumlee, was he?
"The fans, always the fans," he replied, before quickly clarifying, "only the Duke fans."
Barnes' actions drew the ire of some Duke students, who tossed full drinks onto the floor in the direction of him and teammate John Henson when the final seconds were ticking off the clock. But Barnes didn't care. He embraced the moment, and so did the more affable Henson.
At 6-foot-11, Henson frustrated the Blue Devils all night finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds. He was credited with just one blocked shot, but his defense, from guarding the lane to hedging on Duke's perimeter shooters and ballhandlers, was masterful.
Apparently that gave him carte blanch to mock away, too.
"I wasn't clapping for Miles, I was clapping for us," he said. "But yeah, that's what we were doing, and at the end of the day we got a regular season title."
Bullock The Key
UNC point guard Kendall Marshall had a huge night, but was adamant after the game that sophomore guard Reggie Bullock was the Tar Heels' player of the game. Barnes trumpeted that sentiment as well.
Bullock was charged with the responsibility of guarding sensational Duke freshman Austin Rivers, whose 3-pointer at the buzzer in Chapel Hill lifted the Devils to the improbable win. He also had 29 points that night.
On Saturday, though, Bullock locked down and kept Rivers in check. The phenom finished with 15 points on 5-for-12 shooting, including just 1-for-6 from beyond the arc.
A key, Bullock said, was how the big men hedged out on Rivers and Seth Curry. But it still required that Bullock do a heck of a job, and he did.
"Everybody just tried to do their job, not give up 3-point shots," he said. "That was my main goal coming in because I knew I had the target on my back because he knew I was going to be guarding him and I just had to contain him, make him drive and put the ball on the floor. It worked out for us tonight."
Marshall Loves The Triangle
Marshall isn't known for scoring a lot. He usually does so on a need-to basis, or when opportunities are simply there.
The sophomore from Dumfries, VA, finished Saturday's rout of Duke with 20 points and 10 assists. He also hit what UNC center Tyler Zeller said was the biggest shot of the game.
With Duke having a chance to get the margin into single digits, Marshall helped make a stop before on the other end draining a jumper that was sent a major dagger into the Devils.
"I think that was actually the biggest play we had," Zeller said. "When Kendall hit the two with his foot on the line that was a huge play. That got out momentum back going and we put it away."
In UNC's other road game against a team from the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, which is also known as the "Research Triangle," Marshall scored 22 points and handed out 13 assists against no turnovers in a win at N.C. State.
But he's not about stats, he's about wins. It's all Marshall talks about. He doesn't care what pundits say about his lack of scoring.
"Honestly, that's fine with me," Marshall said. "As long as we're winning games and my teammates are playing well we're doing what we're supposed to do as a team, I'm perfectly fine getting no credit."
UNC By The Numbers
Carolina has now won 29 regular season ACC titles, and the margin of victory was their most at Cameron since a 20-point win in 1989.
UNC's 54.5 field goal percent was its highest in an ACC game this season. Three players with double-doubles (Zeller had 19 points and 10 rebounds, joining Henson and Marshall) are the most since a triple-overtime loss to Wake Forest in 2003.
Marshall has 299 assists and is just four away from the all-time single-season ACC mark.
This was UNC's fifth victory in Cameron in the last five years.