Forward Gene Banks sent the game into overtime on a jumper at the buzzer, then his follow shot with 19 seconds remaining in overtime gave Duke a 66-65 victory over 11th-ranked North Carolina in Atlantic Coast Conference game in Durham, N.C., yesterday.
Banks, playing his final home game, took a pass from midcourt with a second left in regulation and threw a rainbow over the outstretched arms of Tar Heel center Sam Perkins. The ball swished through the net and sent the Cameron Indoor Stadium crowd into a frenzy.
The victory enabled Duke (15-11, 6-8 in the ACC) to tie Clemson for fifth place in the conference. A draw Sunday will determine the opponent for fourth-place Maryland in Thursday's 9:30 p.m. first-round game of the league tournament.
North Carolina (22-7, 10-4), escaped a tie for second place with Wake Forest when N.C. State tripped the Deacons, 66-65, in Raleigh.
Banks scored 25 points for Duke and Kenny Dennard, also a senior, added 16. Perkins led the Tar Heels with 24 points and Al Wood had 16.
In the overtime, Jimmy Black, who scored 12 points, made the first of one-and-one free throws to give north Carolina a 59-58 lead, but Banks' tapin gave the Blue Devils a 60-59 lead with 2:23 left in the extra period.
Duke extended its lead to three nearly one minute later as Vince Taylor scored on a layup.
Duke led again at 64-61 before North Carolina rallied to take a one-point lead, 65-64, on Wood's jumper and two free throws by Mike Pepper with 43 seconds to play.
Duke was working for a last shot when Vince Taylor fired a short jumper from the top of the key. Banks grabbed the ball in the scramble and banked the shot to give duke the final advantage with 19 seconds left in overtime.
Carolina immediately charged toward its basket but couldn't find an open player for its own last shot. Pepper shot from 22 feet but bounced it off the rim. By the time North Carolina recovered the long rebound, the game was over.
Duke led, 46-43, in regulation after North Carolina failed to score in a four-minute span. But the Tar Heels rallied to within 50-49 with 4:54 left in regulation.
Two free throws by Black gave the Tar Heels a one-point cushion, but Banks returned the lead to Duke on a driving layup.
Later, with the score tied at 56, Perkins made two free throws with two seconds lefts, giving North Carolina what appeared to be safe 58-56 lead. Duke inbounded the ball to midcourt and called timeout with one second left. Then Banks hit his jumper at the buzzer.