|(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)|
In the aftermath of North Carolina's 85-84 loss against Duke on Feb. 8, Tar Heels senior Tyler Zeller went back home, tried to watch a movie but couldn't. He wound up sitting in a daze, staring. Kendall Marshall, the sophomore guard, stayed home for about a day and a half.
Two days after the defeat, North Carolina gathered to practice, and coach Roy Williams didn't have anything profound to say, Marshall said. There were no magic, soothing words - nothing to dull the pain the Tar Heels experienced when Duke's Austin Rivers made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give his team a memorable victory.
Still, Williams said, "I just challenged them. It's like I said at that game, they were not going to give a trophy. You know, and we were still going to play again the next day. And the sun was still going to come up.
"I can't remember if it did or not but I know it has since then."
The rematch comes tonight at Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium (7 p.m., ESPN), where the No. 4 Blue Devils (26-4, 13-2 ACC) and No. 6 Tar Heels (26-4, 13-2) will meet to decide the regular-season ACC champion. Ever since Rivers' shot glided through, silencing a stunned Smith Center crowd, North Carolina has anticipated this moment.
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