The greatest rivalry in all of college basketball will be featured in the Final Four. The Duke Blue Devils will face the North Carolina Tar Heels in the last tournament for Mike Krzyzewski on Saturday night. It couldn’t have played out better than this.
North Carolina spoiled Krzyzewski’s last game at Cameron Indoor Stadium with a 94-81 win. Duke handed the Tar Heels a 20-point loss a month prior. The amazing histories both programs have independently and against each other will all rest on this one matchup, which could be the defining moment of one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports history.
The fact that these two hated rivals will face off in the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever makes for a historic game. But the matchup is also the first time in the tournament’s history that two teams from the same state and conference will play in the semifinal round.
For the first time ever, Duke and North Carolina will face off in the NCAA Tournament.
It's also the first time in NCAA history that two teams from the same state and conference will meet in the national semifinals or later. pic.twitter.com/8jauu4N5Aq
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 27, 2022
The Blue Devils boast tons of talent with Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin, who could both be very high NBA draft picks. The Tar Heels tout Caleb Love and Armando Bacot, who just recorded a game in the Elite 8 that was previously only done by Akeem Olajuwon. this summer. The big-man matchup between Duke’s Mark Williams and UNC’s Brady Hanek would define the match.
Duke spent this season saying goodbye to Krzyzewski as he heads into retirement after 42 seasons coaching the Blue Devils. North Carolina spent its first year with Hubert Davis winning 27 games and advancing to the Final Four for the first time since 2017.
With Coach K overseeing a dominant tournament run for the Blue Devils and Davis orchestrating an impressive run for the eighth-seeded Tar Heels, the archrivals’ latest showdown is shaping up to be one for the ages.