Freshman Austin Rivers stunned North Carolina with his game winning buzzer beater last night that gave the Blue Devils an 85-84 win over the Tar Heels.
In just his first appearance in the Battle of the Tobacco Road, Rivers and his teammates took the floor for the first of the teams’ two meetings this season. Needless to say, Rivers left a notable impact on a game that surely won’t be forgotten.
UNC was leading Duke 82-72 with less than three minutes left on the clock. However, Duke would rally and come back on a 13-2 run earned from 3-point shooting, UNC missed free throws and crucial mistakes by the Tar Heel’s senior center Tyler Zeller.
Rivers scored a season high 29 points, 18 of them from behind the arc and the last of which was shot over 7 foot Zeller. The ball swished through the net, sending Rivers and his teammates down the court in celebration.
River’s game winning shot sent his father, Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, into triumphant celebration from the stands while the Blue Devils fans applauded in rally of the spectacular victory.
“Obviously this is my favorite win I’ve ever had in my entire life,” Rivers told the Boston Herald. “And it’s because we were down the whole game. The whole game, we were down. They just kept it on us — 10-point lead, 10-point lead. And then there was 3 minutes left and probably everybody thought we were going to lose, and we just kept fighting. To get a W, it’s amazing.”
Duke’s victory breaks UNC 31 home game winning streak. The Blue Devils are now first in the ACC.