Cormac Ryan drops 31 points and a dagger as UNC beats Duke to clinch outright ACC title

No. 7 North Carolina walked into Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday and walked out with its first outright ACC title since 2017.

The Tar Heels beat No. 9 Duke, 84-79, clinching the top spot in the conference and a series sweep of their rival. It is the ninth straight time UNC has defeated Duke in the season finale with an ACC title on the line, a streak going back to 2001.

A Duke win would have resulted in a split ACC title, with the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament determined by a tiebreaker hinging on the NC State-Pitt game later Saturday.

Cormac Ryan was the hero of the night for UNC, leading the team with a career-high 31 points on 8-of-12 shooting (6-of-8 from deep). That included this dagger in the final two minutes:

Minutes later, Ryan made the free throws to seal the game.

Harrison Ingram, the hero of last month's 93-84 UNC win in Chapel Hill, was again strong with 14 points, 10 rebounds and two assists.

UNC came out hot in 1st half; Duke hot in 2nd half

The Duke crowd was fairly quiet in the opening minutes of the game, as UNC opened the game on a 17-4 run to take an early double-digit lead. Nine of those points came from Ryan, who hit three 3-pointers in the first four minutes.

UNC pushed the lead to 27-12, but Duke managed to weather the storm and spent the next 10 minutes clawing back into respectable distance. The lead was down to nine points at halftime, opening the door for an early Duke run in the second half.

Kyle Filipowski, who had only four points in the first half, scored eight points in the first three minutes and led a charge to cut the lead to one. UNC regained its composure from there, responding with a 9-1 run to take back control.

Duke did not lead for a second in the game.

Kyle Filipowski gets away with tripping Harrison Ingram

It's not a real UNC-Duke game without that one moment for fans to argue about until the next game. This game's moment came midway through the first half, when Filipowski and Harrison Ingram both hit the floor after a miss.

Ingram got up first and started running over the legs of Filipowski, who responded by sticking one leg out and tripping Ingram. Filipowski then checked out after displaying a slight limp and didn't return until several minutes later.

No foul was called on the play.

It won't be the most controversial time Filipowski has tripped someone, but it certainly got some attention on social media.