CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Turns out North Carolina is better at playing Duke's game than Duke is theirs.
With a free-flowing guard-based attack and a steady diet of 3-pointers, No. 21 UNC took the first meeting of the season between the Triangle rivals.
Senior Joel Berry scored 21 points to lead the Tar Heels to an 82-78 win over No. 9 Duke on Thursday night at the Smith Center.
The season has been marked by a switch in traditional styles between the rivals.
UNC (18-7, 7-5 ACC) has become the guard-based team while Duke has relied on its talented big men.
Duke (19-5, 7-4) had its way inside in the first half but UNC used a blitz at the start of the second half to pick up its biggest win of the season.
Junior guard Kenny Williams (20 points) made six 3-pointers and UNC finished with 11 3s. It was the first time since 2004, a span of 28 games, that the Heels outscored Duke from the 3-point line.
UNC used a 16-2 run to start the second half to take control of the game.
Down 49-45 at the half, the Tar Heels blasted out of the halftime gate to take a 61-51 lead after a layup by Williams at 15:49. Williams and Berry both made 3s during the run but other five baskets came in the teeth of the Duke defense.
UNC was up 72-62 with 9:28 left before Duke made it interesting and had the ball down 74-71 with 3:30 left but Gary Trent (16 points) missed an open corner 3.