But before head coach Mike Krzyzewski could turn his attention to the game against the Tar Heels, his team had to focus on the visiting Hurricanes, who entered Durham needing a victory in the worst way.
Unfortunately for the visitors, however, a relatively close contest at halftime was blown open by senior DeMarcus Nelson who scored 19 of his game high 21 after halftime, including 10 points in a three minutes stretch that put Duke up by double figures to stay. In addition to his team high in points, Nelson also was Duke's leader in the rebounds (6), and assists (4) categories.
All told the Blue Devils totaled 50 points after intermission - marking the third straight game they've managed to reach that plateau. And, for the third straight game, their opposition couldn't keep up as the Hurricanes joined Maryland and NC State as teams to be overwhelmed by Duke in the second half.
"We came out (strong) in the second half -- seems like that's kind of been our M.O.," said freshman Kyle Singler. "It was a good start to the second half, (the Blue Devils) kind of put them down, and we just sustained that for the rest of the 20 minutes."
Singler finished with 14 points, five rebounds, and three blocks while junior Greg Paulus logged 16 points, six rebounds, and three assists giving Duke three players in double figures. Freshman Nolan Smith and sophomore Jon Scheyer each added nine points off the bench.