The stage is set in New Orleans and all factors point to a Final Four game we won’t soon forget when Duke, seeded No. 2, and North Carolina, seeded No. 8, will meet on Saturday evening. Retired Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski takes on his toughest rivalwith a berth in Monday’s national championship game on the line. After the Tar Heels spoiled Coach K’s final home game with a 94-81 victory on March 5, there will also be an element of revenge in Game.
That win to close out the regular season helped put North Carolina on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble, and the Tar Heels didn’t give up the momentum. In leading his team so far, freshman coach Hubert Davis became the first rookie head coach since former UNC coach Bill Guthridge in 1999 to lead a team to the Final Four.
That in itself is an impressive achievement for Davis. But if he somehow manages to go 2-1 against Duke in Krzyzewski’s final season and end the Blue Devils’ run in the Final Four, it would mark a chapter. legendary in Tar Heels history. Between the intrigues with the coaches, the rivalry of these programs and the stakes, this one has all the makings of an all-time great college basketball game.
After more than 100 years of fierce competition between the two schools, this is the first-ever meeting between Duke and North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament, and it should be a classic.
How to watch Duke vs. North Carolina
Dated: Saturday April 2 | Time: 8:49 p.m. ET
Location: Caesars Superdome — New Orleans
TV: TBS | Direct: March Madness Live
Duke vs. North Carolina: Need to Know
About Blue Devils: For Mike Krzyzewski to step off the field in New Orleans as national champion for the sixth time, capping his career with a title, would be among the greatest stories in all of American sports. Duke’s expectation is to compete at a high level and be able to win two games in the Final Four and do it, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest they have what it takes. Beating two of the best defensive teams in the NCAA Tournament eliminates the idea that there is a secret to stopping Duke’s success, which means it’s up to coaches and players to be able to make history. — Patterson chip
About the Tar Heels: According to BartTorvik.com, where you can not only view adjusted efficiency numbers throughout the season, but also sort the data defined by date, North Carolina is the No. 1 team in the country in terms of offensive effectiveness adjusted since March 1. The seven-running game is absolutely open to criticism due to the small sample size, but it also confirms what our eyes have been telling us. North Carolina may not be the absolute No. 1 team in the country right now, but they’ve been playing as well as the best teams in the country since the schedule moved from February to March. The Tar Heels are a No. 8 seed in the tournament, but the quality of play represents a team that does not register as a No. 29 to No. 32 team on the field of 68. Still, the task to win the next game is the greatest at hand. Duke will be especially motivated after learning the lessons of how this current version of the Tar Heels handles business, and this time the pomp and circumstance will be equally divided, not one-sided. After being 11-point underdogs in Durham, it’s now North Carolina who must manage expectations of being ready to compete on a big stage. . — patterson
Duke vs. North Carolina: Predictions
Duke and North Carolina shared the regular-season series, but UNC spoiled their win beyond Duke’s home-court victory. That’s because the Tar Heels victory came in Coach K’s final at the Cameron Indoor. So, as silly and cliche as it sounds, Duke’s revenge tale here makes me believe. Likely to be close – almost certainly will be close – but the Blue Devils by a basket feel like the number. Take the points. Kyle Boone’s Pick: North Carolina +4
|DUKE -4||DUKE -4||UNC +4||UNC +4||UNC +4|
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