Duke's young basketball team stunned second-ranked North Carolina, 92-84, today to take over first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Mike Gminski scored 29 points and Jim Spanarkel 23 as Duke ran its overall season mark to 123 and took the ACC lead at 3-1. North Carolina went to 2-1 in the ACC and 12-2 overall.
Gminski made 12 of 13 shots and was five from the foul line. He was the game-high rebounder with 10.
Duke shot 65.5 per cent, but North Carolina held a 47-46 lead at the halftime after shooting 66 per cent in the opening period. The Tar Heels led, 5554, with 16:18 remaining in the game, but over the next four minutes, Gminski scored six points and Spanarkel four as the Blue Devils outscored Carolina, 14-2 to take a 68-57 lead with 12:1 remaining.
The closet North Carolina got after that was six points.
The Duke victory overshadowed a 29-point performance by Tar Heel guard Phil Ford, who scored 19 in the second half. Mike O'Koren had 19 points, Tom Zaliagiris 12 and Al Wood 10.
North California jumped to a 4-0 lead behind two field goals by Ford. Using a man-to-man defense, the Tar Heels pulled out to their biggest lead at 18-12 after 6:30.
Spanarkel then scored nine straight points to give the Blue Devils a 21-18 lead. Both teams settled into zones defensively as the game became a see-saw affair.
Duke played its best game of the season in disposing of the Tar Heels infront of a capacity crowd.
"We came out four hours after the game to warm up," said Duke's Bill Foster, "and there was already a crowd. It helped psych our players up."
Duke forced California into 22 turn overs with its 2-3 zone. Carolina had trouble moving the ball inside and had to rely on Ford's shooting from the outside to stay in contention.