And just like that all was well in Durham. The Blue Devils looked - for a moment - like the team we all thought they would be back in October. A favorite to win the ACC and the team to beat for the national championship.
Allen scored 25 points before fouling out and Tatum added 19 in the second half as Duke dispatched the No.8 Tarheels 86-78 Thursday night. Allen has led the way during the current four game win streak. Scoring at least 19 points in every game.
"When Coach tells you to shoot the ball," Allen said, "you shoot the ball."
Tatum's first basket in the rivalry was one he'll likely never forget: With Duke clinging to a 51-46 lead following a Kennedy Meeks three-point play, Tatum took the ball on the left wing drove the lane and threw down a one-handed dunk over Meeks that put Duke up 53-46 and sent Cameron into a frenzy.
Luke Kennard, named to the late season Wooden watch list, added 20 points and the Blue Devils out-rebounded the Tarheels 31-30.
This installment of the greatest rivalry in college basketball did not disappoint, with 17 lead changes and nine ties, the momentum swung back and forth all night. Justin Jackson led North Carolina with 21 points who fell to 0-4 on the season when being out-rebounded.
With future Blue Devils Wendell Carter and Gary Trent looking on from the crowd at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Allen hit the most important shot of the night -- a 3-pointer over Jackson with about 1:15 left to put the Blue Devils up by five. The Blue Devils would ice the game from the line, going 8 for 8 in the final minute.
Duke has won 12 of the previous 16 contests against the Tarheels and 29 of 42 since 1999.
The Blue Devils will be back on the court this Saturday - when Clemson visits Cameron Indoor Stadium - in what coach Mike Krzyzewski called an NCAA Tournament type turnaround.