Duke Fans Throw Bottles at UNC Players After Losing Rivalry Game

The heated rivalry between Duke and North Carolina reached a boiling point on Saturday night, as some Duke fans threw bottles and other objects at UNC players who celebrated their 84-79 win at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The game was tense and physical, with several controversial plays and calls. In the first half, Duke’s Kyle Filipowski appeared to trip UNC’s Harrison Ingram, but the officials did not review the play. In the second half, UNC’s Cormac Ryan hit a clutch 3-pointer with 1:38 left to give the Tar Heels a 79-74 lead.

Ryan, who scored a season-high 31 points, taunted the Duke fans with some gestures and words after his shot. As the game ended, Ryan and some of his teammates waved goodbye to the crowd, which did not sit well with some of the Duke fans. They responded by throwing water bottles and a gum ball at the UNC players, who quickly left the court.

UNC coach Hubert Davis said he was proud of his team for winning the ACC regular-season title and sweeping Duke in the regular season, but he also said he did not approve of the post-game antics.

“I don’t like that. I don’t like that at all,” Davis said. “I understand the emotions of the game, but we have to be respectful of our opponents and their fans. That’s not who we are as a program.”

Duke coach Jon Scheyer, who was filling in for the retired Mike Krzyzewski, apologized to the fans in the stands for losing the game. He also said he did not see the bottle-throwing incident, but he condemned it if it happened.

“That’s unacceptable. That’s not what Duke basketball is about,” Scheyer said. “We have great fans, but we have to respect the game and the other team. I’m sorry if that happened. That’s not how we want to represent ourselves.”

The incident marred an otherwise thrilling game between the two storied rivals, who have combined for 11 national championships and 40 Final Four appearances. The game was also the last regular-season meeting between the two teams at Cameron Indoor Stadium, which will be replaced by a new arena in 2025.

The two teams could meet again in the ACC tournament or the NCAA tournament, where they would hope to settle their differences on the court, not in the stands.

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