CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Chris Duhon took it upon himself to win the game the second time around.
Duhon's driving reverse layup with six seconds left in overtime lifted top-ranked Duke to an 83-81 victory over No. 19 North Carolina in an Atlantic Coast Conference thriller.
An amazing game went to overtime after North Carolina's Jawad Williams 3-pointer with 18 seconds left in the second half forged a 74-74 tie. Duhon pushed the ball upcourt after the basket and found a wide-open Daniel Ewing, who missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
In overtime, Rashad McCants' 3-pointer created an 81-81 tie with 13 seconds to go. Duhon sped up the left side, weaved through a series of defenders and reversed the ball through to put Duke (19-1, 8-0 ACC) ahead.
"I kept going and it opened up," Duhon said. "(Raymond) Felton came up on me, he changed my direction a little bit. I ran around a big guy and (David) Noel jumped out. I don't know if it was miscommunication, but they started switching and I just started taking off."
"Duhon's play at the end will go down as one of the great plays ever," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
North Carolina (13-6, 3-5) had one final chance and Felton found a wide-open Melvin Scott on the right wing. Scott's 3-pointer bounced off the rim at the buzzer and the jubilant Blue Devils celebrated their 16th straight triumph by mobbing Duhon.
Ironically, Duhon - in foul trouble through most of the game - was the lone starter who failed to reach double figures for Duke. Shelden Williams collected 22 points and 12 rebounds and freshman Luol Deng added 17 and 12 for the Blue Devils, who lead second-place North Carolina State by two games at the midway point of ACC play.
"We've got a lot of guys who can step up and make big plays for us," said Ewing, who netted 19 points. "I made some plays, Shelden played great, Luol made a couple plays."
The Tar Heels trailed throughout the game, but took advantage when Duhon went to the bench following his fourth foul with 9:10 left in regulation. Duhon re-entered right before McCants' layup capped a 12-2 tear that gave North Carolina its largest lead at 69-62.
Duke countered with 10 straight points to go back on top.
"I told the team that we all could point to one or two plays that you could have made that you didn't make that would have made a difference," said Tar Heels coach Roy Williams, who fell to 1-4 vs. the Blue Devils, 0-1 while with North Carolina. "This was a big-time college basketball game."
The loss spoiled a terrific performance by McCants, who matched a season high with 27 points. Sean May, who battled cramps near the end, collected 15 points and a career high-tying 21 rebounds.
The Tar Heels had a six-game home winning streak stopped in a contest similar to their epic triple-overtime setback to Wake Forest in December. It came despite the dramatic game-tying shots from Jawad Williams and McCants.
"Those two shots - Williams and McCants - kids don't make those shots. Men do," Krzyzewski said. "Men were making shots for both teams toward the end of the game, especially in overtime."
Duke has won 13 of its last 15 matchups with North Carolina, including five of six in Chapel Hill. The Blue Devils are 7-0 on the road with wins over four ranked opponents.