Ranking North Carolina's 10 best road wins vs. Duke in the Mike Krzyzewski era
On Saturday night, North Carolina will make the trip to Durham for the final time of the Mike Krzyzewski era.
The legendary Duke coach is calling it a career after this season, so Saturday night — barring a postseason meeting — will be the last time the Tar Heels face off against Coach K.
While Krzyzewski had his fair share of wins over UNC since taking over in 1980-81, North Carolina has had plenty of big games, too. The Tar Heels have beaten Krzyzewski 18 times at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
That includes 12 top-25 matchups and countless memorable moments.
Here’s a ranking of UNC’s 10 best wins in Durham during the Mike Krzyzewski era:
No. 10: UNC def. Duke 105-81 on March 5, 1983
This was North Carolina’s second win over Krzyzewski on his home floor. This game took place before Krzyzewski got things going again — it’s one of five times that an unranked Duke team has hosted UNC. Sophomore Michael Jordan scored 32 points in the win.
It’s notable because this is North Carolina’s largest margin of victory on Duke’s home floor. The 24-point win was really only challenged by a 20-point win that took place in 1989 (more on that later).
No. 9: UNC def. Duke 87-77 on March 5, 1994
Down goes Grant Hill on senior night. Hill gave UNC plenty of trouble through the years, but the Tar Heels got the last laugh with this win — which turned out to be a rather comfortable double-digit win.
Freshman Rasheed Wallace started this game and played well. Donald Williams led the Tar Heels with 20 points.
No. 8: UNC def. Duke 73-63 on Jan. 16, 1982
This is North Carolina’s first-ever win over Mike Krzyzewski in Durham. The Tar Heels were ranked No. 1 in the country and would later go on to win the National Championship.
North Carolina was led by James Worthy, Sam Perkins and a young freshman by the name of Michael Jordan. He scored an impressive 19 points in the win.
No. 7: UNC def. Duke 78-68 on March 2, 1985
Not much was expected of this North Carolina team following the departures of Michael Jordan and Sam Perkins. Still, the Tar Heels entered this game ranked No. 8 nationally and were ready to put up a fight against No. 5 Duke.
Brad Daughtery was dominant — he scored 23 points and helped limit Duke to just 34 percent shooting from the field.
No. 6: UNC def. Duke 76-68 on March 8, 2008
Tyler Hansbrough was the leader of North Carolina for nearly his entire career, but this win wasn’t because of him. He struggled in this one, scoring just 16 points on 21 shots. It was junior Danny Green, who scored a team-high 18 points and blocked a staggering 7 shots.
North Carolina’s stout defense held Duke to just 32.9 percent shooting on its home floor. UNC also won the rebounding battle, 45-39.
No. 5: UNC def. Duke 101-87 on Feb. 11, 2009
North Carolina was simply more talented than Duke on this night. The Tar Heels starting five includes four future NBA regulars — Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green and Tyler Hansbrough. Of course, this UNC team would go on to win the National Championship.
That talent advantage was more than enough to overcome the intensity of the Cameron Crazies — even against a Duke team that was ranked No. 6 in the country. This is the last victory of a four-game winning streak UNC had in Durham from 2006-09.
No. 4: UNC def. Duke 85-83 on Feb. 1, 2001
This is the second — and final — UNC has had over Krzyzewski in Durham while both teams were ranked in the top 5. The Tar Heels won thanks to a pair of late free throws fron Brendan Haywood, who also had a double-double in this game.
The win came in Matt Doherty’s first season as UNC head coach. The Tar Heels were a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament that season, but lost in the second round. Roy Williams replaced him a couple years later.
No. 3: UNC def. Duke 91-71 on Jan. 18, 1989
This is the first of three wins North Carolina had over a No. 1-ranked Duke team. It’s also the second-largest margin of victory UNC has had on the Blue Devils’ home floor.
Scott Williams scored 22 points, leading the way for North Carolina. He out-played Duke All-American Danny Ferry to snap a three-game losing streak to the Blue Devils.
No. 2: UNC def. Duke 88-72 on Feb. 20, 2019
This was one of the most anticipated matchups in the history of this rivalry. North Carolina was ranked in the top-10 and was just two years removed from winning the national title. No. 1 Duke was loaded with NBA talent, including Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish.
It was such a high profile game that former president Barack Obama was in attendance. The result is slightly marred by Williamson suffering an injury early in the game, but UNC took advantage of its opportunity. Luke Maye and Cameron Johnson combined for 56 points in the blowout win.
No. 1: UNC def. Duke 83-76 on March 4, 2006
This was Roy Williams’ first road win over the Blue Devils since he took the reins in Chapel Hill for the 2003-04 season. It’s one of three times that UNC has defeated a No. 1-ranked Duke team at Cameron.
However, this game is most memorable — and at No. 1 on this list — because it was J.J. Redick’s senior night. The polarizing Duke star had a rough night, going just 5-of-21 from the floor in his final game in Durham. Meanwhile, Tyler Hansbrough was dominant to the tune of 27 points on 9-of-17 shooting. Hansbrough never lost at Cameron.