NCAA: Zion Injures Knee, UNC (8) Beats Duke (1), 88-72


The game between the University of North Carolina and Duke University on Wednesday was hands-down the most highly anticipated game in the NCAA this week. Tickets for the game were rumored to be hitting Super Bowl prices. It was not surprising as these are two of the top teams that are expected to have deep runs in the upcoming NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. That, and everyone also wanted to see Zion Williamson work his magic on the court.

Unfortunately, in an anticlimactic twist that abruptly dowsed the hype that was percolating all night, Zion Williamson hurt his knee in what can only be described as a freak accident. In the very first minute of the game, Zion slipped after the Nike basketball shoe on his left foot broke, causing his right knee to buckle while he was off balance. He limped off the court and was immediately ruled out for the rest of the game.

After the game, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said that Williamson had suffered a sprained knee and that he did not know how long his star forward would be out.

Williamson is the current overwhelming consensus number one overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. He’s also one of the main pillars with whom Duke can hang on their success in the 2018-19 NCAA season.

Obviously, Williamson’s absence immediately altered the complexion of the game. UNC was in control in the entire first half and ended it with a 42-32 advantage. Despite Duke’s best efforts, UNC managed to complete the upset. Luke Maye delivered with a 30-point, 15-rebound double-double, while Cameron Johnson chipped in 26 points and seven rebounds for the Tar Heels.

Stepping up in the absence of Zion, R.J. Barrett put up a commendable effort as he finished the night with 33 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. Cameron Reddish added 27 points and three rebounds.

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