Duke’s Kyle Filipowski Trips UNC Player, Evokes Grayson Allen Comparison

Controversial play overshadows intense Duke-UNC rivalry game.

by Nouman Rasool
Duke’s Kyle Filipowski Trips UNC Player, Evokes Grayson Allen Comparison
© Lance King/Getty Images

In a riveting turn of events that has drawn the attention of college basketball enthusiasts and reignited the fervor of Duke detractors, Saturday night's Duke vs. North Carolina game transcended its billing as merely the pinnacle of college basketball rivalries.

The stakes were monumental, with the ACC championship hanging in the balance, adding another electrifying chapter to this storied confrontation. The seventh-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, having already secured at least a share of the regular season championship, were poised to claim outright ownership of the title with a victory.

However, a win for the ninth-ranked Duke Blue Devils would mean a shared crown, setting the stage for a clash of titans. Amidst this high-stakes backdrop, a contentious moment unfolded in the first half that saw Kyle Filipowski of Duke and Harrison Ingram of UNC entangled on the hardwood following a defensive rebound by Duke.

As Ingram rose to hustle back on defense, his momentum was abruptly halted by a trip over Filipowski's leg, igniting a flurry of speculation over the intent behind the fall.

Trip Controversy Ignites

The incident swiftly became a hot topic across social media platforms, with many voices quick to label the trip as deliberate.

The incident sparked a wave of commentary, drawing parallels to past controversies involving Duke players, notably the infamous incidents attributed to Duke alum Grayson Allen, known for his contentious on-court actions. Online commentators didn't hold back, with Sportsgrid host Ben Stevens remarking on Filipowski's "miraculous" leg recovery, enabling him to trip opponents, while Fox Sports Radio's Aaron Torres deemed the act "significantly more egregious" than any hostility Filipowski faced from Wake Forest fans in a recent court-storming incident.

The comparison to Grayson Allen was inevitable, with social media abuzz with references to the former Duke player's notorious reputation. "Grayson? Is that you?" queried The Field of 68, with Jackson Didlake echoing the sentiment, alluding to the "Shades of Grayson Allen." Despite trailing the Tar Heels 40-31 at halftime, Duke mounted a vigorous comeback, embarking on an 11-3 run as the second half unfolded.

This game, however, will likely be remembered as much for its competitive ferocity as for the controversy that flared on the court, adding another layer to the rich tapestry of the Duke-North Carolina rivalry.