Armando Bacot, Kerwin Walton and Caleb Love all scored 18 points off the bench as North Carolina drilled rival Duke 91-73 in the regular-season finale for both teams Saturday night in Chapel Hill, N.C.
North Carolina (16-9, 10-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) had a double-figure lead less than six minutes into the game and the margin never dipped into single digits again.
Duke (11-11, 9-9), which has lost three games in a row, will be the No. 10 seed for next week's ACC tournament in Greensboro, N.C., meaning a first-round game Tuesday. The Blue Devils are in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995.
The Tar Heels, who used an altered starting lineup on Senior Night, will be seeded sixth in the ACC tournament and play Wednesday in the second round.
Senior Garrison Brooks, in perhaps his final game in the Smith Center (though no players lose eligibility for playing this season), scored 14 points and had five rebounds.
North Carolina swept the regular-season series from Duke for the second time in three seasons. The Blue Devils won both meetings last year.
This was the second game with about 3,000 fans at the Smith Center after crowd restrictions were reduced in the state. The other game with fans came a week earlier when the Tar Heels rallied to defeat Florida State, which was in first place at the time.
Mark Williams finished with 18 points, DJ Steward tallied 16, Matthew Hurt provided 14 points and Jeremy Roach had 10 points for Duke, which shot 5-for-27 on 3-pointers. Hurt was 2-for-10 from deep.
North Carolina bolted to a 22-point first-half lead and was up 42-26 at the break. The spread was down to 13 points just a couple of minutes into the second half before the Tar Heels regained a firm grip.
It was nothing like North Carolina's four-point victory a month earlier in Durham. The only mystery down the stretch was whether Tar Heels students and fans would obey pleas during recent days from university and city officials to avoid the massive downtown gathering to celebrate the outcome after last month's revelry drew concerns during the pandemic.
Walton, who connected on his first five shots from the field, made four of seven 3-point attempts, accounting for half of the team's long-range baskets. The Tar Heels shot 21-for-26 on free throws.
--Field Level Media