Tatum dominates as Duke takes rubber match with UNC; Notre Dame punches ticket to ACC Final too


It was an eventful Friday evening at the Barclays Center — headlined by Duke and UNC; here are some court-side observations in our Day 4 notebook.

Game 1: North Carolina and Duke

  • The game got off to a fast start…with three fouls on the first three possessions. So, great.
  • Jayson Tatum is so ready for the NBA; he could start in the league tonight. His face-up game, especially from the midrange, is filthy.
  • Joel Berry has wasted no time getting the ball out of the net, and trying to go end-to-end. Of course, this is the type of play Roy Williams is looking for from his point guards.
  • UNC has controlled the action at the rim: 20 points in the paint. Meeks, Hicks and Bradley are a combined 9-of-11.
  • Harry Giles really struggled on defense — keeps getting lost in space.
  • When Nate Britt checked in for the second time in the game, the public address announcer referred to him as “Player Zero.”
  • On North Carolina second play of the second half, the Tar Heels ran Justin Jackson off a staggered triple screen, which he canned for a three-pointer.
  • Duke with 82 points on 50 field goal attempts. UNC with 75 points on 70 field goal attempts.
  • Tatum’s first step is lightning in a bottle. Defenders have to give him space; if not, they are toast. It is something to behold live. What a weapon.


Game 2: Florida State and Notre Dame

  • Toward the end of the first half, Leonard Hamilton absolutely let his team have it. For about 30 seconds, Hamilton screamed at the players on the floor as game action took place right in front of him — Florida State was on defense. I couldn’t quite make out what the rant was about, but he was clearly upset with his team’s offensive execution.
  • Notre Dame: Good at shooting three-pointers!
  • Florida State looked to lob over the top of Notre Dame’s zone, but Fighting Irish did an excellent job positioning the back line with depth.
  • Notre Dame with 17 assists on its first 25 field goals, which translates to a 68 percent assist rate.
  • Bonzie Colson’s wingspan is comically long.
  • This is the ninth time this season Notre Dame has made at least 13 three-pointers in a game.