CHAPEL HILL — Armando Bacot, Kerwin Walton and Caleb Love scored 18 points apiece and North Carolina never trailed it its 91-73 win over Duke on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Walton hit 4 of 7 from 3-point range and Love had seven assists. Garrison Brooks added 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting for North Carolina (16-9, 10-6 ACC).
The Tar Heels will be the No. 6 seed and earned a first-round bye in next week’s conference tournament. Tenth-seeded seed Duke (11-11, 9-9) plays No. 15 seed Boston College in Tuesday’s first round.
Bacot scored seven consecutive points to start a 22-4 run that made it 26-6 when he capped the spurt with a dunk midway through the first half.
Mark Williams led Duke with 18 points, DJ Steward added 16 and Matthew Hurt 14.
The Blue Devils finished the regular season without a winning record for the first time since 1994-95. Duke has made 24 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, the second-longest active streak of its kind, but will likely have to win five games in as many days at the ACC Tournament to earn a berth this year. The Blue Devils’ longest win streak this season is four.
North Carolina made 31 of 56 (55%) from the field, shot 44% (8 of 18) from 3-point range, and outscored the Blue Devils 21-12 from the free-throw line.
Duke trimmed its deficit to 13 when Wendell Moore Jr. hit a jumper early in the second half by Walton answered with a 3 and the Blue Devils got no closer.