"This was a game befitting this rivalry, between two great programs. Their guys played their hearts out and so did we. It came down to one possession and our defense was great. Their kids never gave up. It was an honor to play against them. It was just good, clean and hard. This was a heck of a basketball game. Points were tough to come by. The defense by both teams was excellent, high turnover numbers by both teams, but that was forced by aggressive play. We were able to stop their fast break pretty well. They only had one bucket on the fast break. [Sean] May is great. He's good. I mean, really good. I'm proud because we beat a really good basketball team tonight. They're unbelievably coached and they're just great guys. I have a lot of respect for Carolina's kids and their staff. To win this game is terrific. Our fans were sensational. The students have been a major part of our winning games."
On DeMarcus Nelson
"It was obvious that DeMarcus just played at a level, or even a couple of levels, higher than he's played. He's played well, but he was great tonight. He had 16 points and four steals and he played almost 30 minutes. We really needed that. To win a game like this, at times you need something that's different from what you normally do. A lot of times, in games like this, really good players cancel out one another because they're playing so hard and somebody else steps up. DeMarcus did that."
On Duke's ability to cause turnovers and disrupt passing lanes
"Some of that had to do with the fact that they had to run a lot more half-court offense. You're not going to force those turnovers if they're running their break and secondary break. We were fortunate tonight that we were able to get back and not commit too many turnovers where they had runs. We committed turnovers, but they didn't have runs when they had the numerical advantage. Our defense usually has forced some turnovers and it did tonight. A few more than we could have anticipated."
On Duke's mental toughness
"Our team has been pretty mentally tough all year. They have never made any excuses about injuries and depth or anything like that. They've really shown up to play every game and I thought that paid off tonight, having been in a lot of situations. We've been in a lot of close games, not just at the end, but at different points in the game. Guys have stepped up and when they didn't, we learned from that."
JUNIOR GUARD J.J. Redick
"We were pretty patient on offense. We did a good job executing. We had a few dumb turnovers, but the main thing for us was just getting back on defense. They only had a few fast-break opportunities, and that's because we hustled back."
"We did a great job getting back. This game was extremely difficult to win. A game like this where there are two really good teams, there are going to be a lot of errors, and guys are going to miss shots. Both teams are pretty good in the defensive half court, but I thought our defense getting back was the difference in the game."
"We've had a lot of tough games, and the thing we've done all year is just find ways to win, except for the two games we lost, of course. I don't know if that helped us tonight, but it certainly helped that we had that experience."
On DeMarcus Nelson
"I was so happy to see him play like that, especially in his first Duke-UNC game. I think they did a good job of containing me, Shelden [Williams], and Daniel [Ewing]. He was the difference in the ballgame. I'm just so proud of him. It's been an up-and-down year for him, and that's what a lot of freshmen do. My whole class, we had our ups and downs, and hopefully this will be a springboard for the rest of the year for him."
FRESHMAN GUARD DeMarcus Nelson
"The crowd was tremendous. I got goosebumps all night from how loud the crowd was, and I think in that last possession, that 18.2 seconds, the crowd was the loudest I've heard since I've been here, and it was just such a tremendous atmosphere."
On the final 18.2 seconds of the game
"It seemed like a long time, and I was just hoping that that clock went down before they got a shot off. We played some great defense - J.J. [Redick] denied Rashad McCants the ball, Daniel Ewing played some great defense on Raymond Felton, and we made them try to do something that they weren't ready for."
"We just wanted to play defense. We have a lot of good players - J.J. [Redick] can shoot the ball, Daniel [Ewing] can shoot the ball, and everybody knows the beast that Shelden [Williams] is down low. So our main focus was to try and stop them on defense and then be precise on offense. But it was defense first, and that's what won this game."
"I just knew it was a great game for me once I was able to get out there and play with a lot of emotion and play with a lot of intensity. The crowd was great - it really helped me and gave me a jumpstart to help me get into the flow of the game, and I was able to make plays."
NORTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH ROY WILLIAMS
"That was a great basketball game from a competitive side. I thought both teams played extremely hard. Three or four things that jump out at me when I think about the game. I think their defense was stronger than our offense for us to have 23 turnovers and not in a running game, we can't do that and I thought that was huge for us. I think the made bigger plays than we made. DeMarcus [Nelson] gave them a huge lift coming off the bench; created match-up problems for us and yet we couldn't get him isolated enough inside when he was guarding one of our bigger guys. We didn't get him as often as we wanted, for sure. I think he was shooting 39 percent from the free throw line going in tonight and he was 4-for-4 and 24 percent from the three-point line and he was 2-for-2, so this youngster stepped up and made big plays in a big-time game and you've got to congratulate him. J.J. [Redick] is really hard to guard, chasing him around, and yet Daniel [Ewing] made a big three for them as well. It was 53-53 and J.J. made two in a row and yet I'm proud of my team at how we got back in it and had a chance to win at the end. Needless to say, we didn't get any shot, much less the shot that we wanted. I was very confident at that point. We were trying to run a set that we've run a lot and had good results from it in the past, but we didn't get that tonight. I thought Sean May was phenomenal around the basket, rebounding the ball and scoring for us. Again, handling the basketball and their guys stepping up and making big play was the key to the game. We can't have 10 assists and 23 turnovers and be the kind of basketball team that we want to be. At the same time, their pressure bothered us. I did not think that their pressure would bother us, but we had five different turnovers just throwing it from Point A to Point B was 10-12 feet away because they were aggressive on the ball. Again, I'm not saying it was a great game from a pretty standpoint, but it was a great game from a competitive standpoint. We would have liked to make one more basket is what it boils down to."
On options going into the final play
"We had three different options. It was a play we've run before. Rashad [McCants] made a big three against Connecticut last year, got a drive against North Carolina State, but we had three options. I really thought we were in really good shape. When Daniel [Ewing] reached from behind and Raymond [Felton] got it and there was nobody in front of him, I felt that I liked our chances at that point, but we didn't make the play ... We had three options-- throwing it to Marvin [Williams] on the block, to David [Noel] coming off on the baseline, four options, Rashad coming off Sean's [May] screen and if they double Rashad coming out, we're supposed to throw it to Sean."
On Duke's efforts to slow down North Carolina's offense
"They slowed us down when they got the job on offense. I mean, they spread the floor and controlled the tempo that way. And in their pressure defense, there's no question that that bothered us too."
On Rashad McCants' shooting difficulties
"He's really had some great games for us, to say the least. His shots didn't go in tonight. One time, he had a wide open shot right in front of our basket and missed it and Jackie Manuel got the offensive rebound and put it back in. We had a timeout and I said `Hey, it's a great shot; it just didn't go down, but your teammate covered for you, so now you get the offensive boards and cover one for him.' He was 3-for-13; Jawad [Williams] was 1-for-6. You know, guys that have made a lot of shots for us this year, the ball didn't go in for them tonight."