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North Carolina's Coby White during the victory over Duke.

CHAPEL HILL - A long day in the ACC ended at night, just before we all moved forward in time and packed for Charlotte.

Carolina took down what’s left of Duke, winning 79-70 in the delirious Dean Dome to grab the second seed in the ACC Tournament and set up a potential third throwdown with its blood rival.

That would be Friday night. That would be if what’s left of Duke survives until Friday night.

Carolina made the Blue Devils look like a collection of freshmen, which they basically are, and when Duke center Marques Bolden went down with a knee injury less than three minutes into the game, it forced Coach Mike Krzyzewski to begin adjusting his team once again.

And it brought back memories of the first meeting in Durham when Zion Williamson’s shoe exploded and all of college basketball was changed in an instant.

The game went back and forth in fits and starts, Kenny Williams playing under the legs of Duke’s RJ Barrett all night and leaving Cam Reddish to shoot in volume.

Reddish has missed 248 shots this season, for those keeping score at home. Carolina obviously was.

Taking the Wake Forest tape from Duke’s near disaster earlier in the week, UNC reduced the young Blue Devils to a misfiring offense that never found its footing.

Duke announced Williamson would be out at 10:30 a.m., ending all sorts of speculation and conspiracy theories and basically putting all of Chapel Hill on tilt.

A long line of students formed outside the Dean Dome more than four hours before the game. ESPN brought its "Gameday" show and turned the last long day of the regular season into a party.

The day seemed to iron out the last few wrinkles as Virginia held off Louisville and grabbed the top seed for the week. State found its footing and will go to Charlotte inside a bubble. And Wake claimed the opening matinee on Tuesday with another confounding collapse.

So we’ll arrive in Charlotte with Virginia and Carolina rolling into the postseason, Duke limping in with the remains of its team in transition yet again, State one step ahead of an NIT bid and Wake looking at another 20-loss season.

“Everybody’s 0-0 and we move forward,” Krzyzewski said.

The questions answered today were mainly points of order.

Now the real questions will be answered. Now the fun begins.

Will we see Williamson this week, or has that decision already been made? Krzyzewski suggested he will play, but certainly the Blue Devils won’t push him hard for three straight days after the better part of a month recovering from a knee injury. The loss of Bolden further complicates things for Krzyzewski.

Will the Virginians win a second straight title in what is already the Virginia Era in the ACC? Will the Tar Heels finally get out of the shadow of Williamson’s shoe and prove to be the best team in the country after all?

They certainly were at times this season, and they certainly were at times tonight.

To get there, the Heels might be looking at yet another game against their arch rivals, which would be a fitting way to end the Tobacco Road part of the season. But still, it’s likely that Virginia will be waiting next Saturday after we’ve moved out of one season and into another, ahead in time, with or without the team we thought might be one of the best we’d ever seen.

That was Duke a month ago.

Carolina is better than Duke now.

And Virginia might be better than both.

But that’s what we’ll decide in Charlotte, along with a few other things like NCAA bids and career changes.

The year of the freshman in the ACC hasn’t gone the way everyone thought it would with the experienced schools gaining momentum and one-and-done Duke looking younger now than it did when we started.

After a long day in the ACC, it was Duke that seemed to go back in time while everyone else moved forward.

“It’s been a heck of a conference season, and Carolina’s playing lights out basketball,” Krzyzewski said. “We had been.”

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Contact Ed Hardin at 336-373-7069, and follow @Ed_Hardin on Twitter.

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