Bad trend strikes again for UNC basketball in loss to Duke

During last season’s run to the national championship game, the North Carolina Tar Heels flashed their clutch gene on a few occasions.

But here in 2022-23, the Tar Heels are really struggling at the end of games and that was evident against Duke — again.

Like the first meeting between the two teams in February, the Tar Heels struggled down the stretch on Saturday night. In the final six minutes of the loss, UNC made just 1 of 9 attempts and didn’t have a bucket in the final four minutes.

In that same span, Duke had a 6-0 run to win the game. The Blue Devils made the plays needed to win and UNC didn’t.

Going back to the first meeting, the exact same thing happened. UNC was 1-of-9 late and didn’t score in the final four minutes. Meanwhile, Duke went on a 6-0 run to win 63-57.

Trevor Marks of Inside Carolina pointed this out last night as it’s an alarming stat:

This has been a problem for North Carolina all season long. Often times they have found themselves with a lead at some point in the second half and just can’t close the deal.

Over the past month or so they have had a lead against Duke, Pitt, NC State and Duke again in the second half. They haven’t found that killer instinct that we saw last season and it’s cost them.

The latest example has likely cost them a trip to the NCAA Tournament and now the Tar Heels will be looking at a date in the NIT if they can’t work some magic in four days in Greensboro.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire