North Carolina coach Roy Williams told reporters this week that the Tar Heels are preparing for game expecting Williamson to be on the court. Should the Tar Heels complete the sweep in Saturday's regular-season finale, that could be what knocks the Blue Devils off the top line. He has recently taken visits to Duke, NC State, Tennessee and Virginia, and will take another trip to North Carolina - his second in three weeks - on Saturday. A former McDonald's All-American and Mr. Basketball USA, Barrett was the consensus No. 1 recruit in the land upon his arrival to coach Mike Krzyzewski's club.
Duke Blue Devils freshman swingman R.J. Barrett made history during his squad's 71-70 win over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Tuesday.
It was the first time Duke met Pitt in the ACC Tournament and the No. 11 spot was the lowest seed for the Blue Devils since 1993, when they were the No. 9 seed.
"I don't think I would have been able to forgive myself if, if we lost", White said after the game. "We got great play off the bench - we had some kids come in and play great minutes for us".
"Not assume, we are [getting him back]", he said.
Duke is now projected as a No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament, and Krzyzewski said he's not concerned about how recent struggles without Williamson might affect seeding.
"The way it's going, he's not going to be doubtful for the tournament", Krzyzewski said. UNC worked its way back, staging a 13-3 run over the next 2:50 of play to knot the game at 33-33.
They aren't a team full of scorers, though, and Krzyzewski said he's enthusiastic about his star's impending return and its potential impact on the Duke offense. And that would force the Tar Heels to find other options to score points that it didn't have to count on last time. "You can't put together a well-oiled machine here in a couple practices to play in this conference at a level when you lose a kid like that".
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