Chris Duhon's reverse layup with 6.5 seconds left in overtime Thursday night gave Duke an 83-81 victory, the Blue Devils' 16th straight overall and fifth in the last six years on No. 17 North Carolina's home court.
This one was over first-year coach Roy Williams, and the former assistant to Dean Smith left the court as did predecessors Bill Guthridge and Matt Doherty, losers at home to Duke.
Shelden Williams had 22 points and 12 rebounds for Duke (19-1, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference). He had two of his five blocks in overtime and also came up with a big defensive play in the final minute to force a turnover by the Tar Heels (13-6, 3-5).
Daniel Ewing scored 19 points for Duke, Luol Deng had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and J.J. Redick added 14 points.
Rashad McCants scored 27 points for North Carolina, including the 3-pointer with 13 seconds left that tied the game at 81. Sean May had 15 points and 21 rebounds for the Tar Heels, but was 7-for-18 from the field and missed a number of close-in shots.
The sellout crowd of 21,750, most wearing "Turn It Blue" T-shirts, was loud all night - but it was roaring and shaking the floor when McCants' fast-break dunk with 5:45 to go gave North Carolina a 69-62 lead.
Duke then turned up the defense and went on a 10-0 run, taking a 72-69 lead on two free throws by Deng with 1:06 left.
May scored on a rebound with 53 seconds to go, and Redick restored the three-point lead on a drive with 38 seconds left.
North Carolina called a timeout, and Jawad Williams hit his only 3-pointer of the game with 18 seconds to go to tie it. Ewing missed a 3 with 3 seconds left for Duke.
Shelden Williams was a force inside in the overtime. His defense forced North Carolina into a 35-second shot clock violation with 22 seconds left. Redick then made two free throws to make it 81-78 and McCants, who finished 2-for-4 from 3-point range, drilled the 3 that tied it and set the stage for Duhon's heroics.
Melvin Scott missed a 3 at the buzzer for North Carolina, and it was appropriate that Shelden Williams grabbed the game's final rebound.
The win evened Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski's record against North Carolina at 28-28, and he is 8-5 against the Tar Heels when his team is ranked No. 1. Duke is 5-0 on the road in the ACC this season. The other eight teams in the conference have a total of five road wins.