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Duke beats UNC, clinches No. 1 for ACC tourney

Feb 28, 2011 - 1:01 AM Durham, NC (Sports Network) - Karima Christmas recorded 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, as the ninth-ranked Duke Blue Devils clinched the top seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament with a 66-58 victory over the 13th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels.

Jasmine Thomas added 17 points and five assists for the Blue Devils (26-3, 12-2 ACC), who are the No. 1 seed in the conference tourney for the ninth time in school history.

Duke claimed a tie for first in the ACC regular season standings with Miami- Florida. The Blue Devils won the regular season title for the second straight year and the 10th time in school history.

The Blue Devils will play on Friday against either Virginia or Wake Forest.

Italee Lucas finished with 15 points and five rebounds for the Tar Heels (22-7, 8-6), who will be the No. 6 seed for the league tournament later this week in Greensboro. Chay Shegog added 14 points and eight boards in defeat.

North Carolina starts tournament play on Thursday against 11th-seeded Clemson.

The Tar Heels held a 31-29 lead after 20 minutes, but Duke stormed ahead early in the second half.

With the score tied at 38-38 with 16:12 to play, the Blue Devils put together an 18-4 run. Thomas capped the burst with a three-pointer to give Duke a 56-42 margin with 9:42 left.

UNC never got closer than six the rest of the way.