North Carolina Gears Up for Tarheels’ Historic Final Four Face-off Against Duke

After ending the Saint Peter’s Peacocks’ impressively-long run in a game of 69-49 on Sunday, the North Carolina Tarheels have secured their spot in the Final Four of the NCAA tournament.

Duke, the No. 2 seed of the West Region, also beat No. 4 seed Arkansas 78-69 at Saturday’s game, meaning the two North Carolina rivals are set up to compete on April 2nd. Despite having played one another 257 times before, next weekend’s game marks the first time ever the rivals will go head to head in the NCAA tournament.

With a spot in the national championship at stake, Duke will attempt to beat No. 8 UNC, in this legendary clash. With the teams splitting victories of the 21-22 regular season series, each winning when on the road, it proves difficult to tell who has the upper hand.

This game will mark Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s 13th Final Four appearance and the final NCAA tournament of his career as he is set to retire at the season’s end. Krzyzewski has served as head coach of the Blue Devils since 1980, leading Duke’s team to five national titles, 13 Final Fours, 15 ACC tournament championships and 13 ACC regular season titles. Suffice to say, he holds a special place in the hearts of avid fans of Duke basketball.

In Duke’s last home game on March 5th, UNC won 94-81, which means there will be an element of revenge in play as Coach K seeks redemption for his team. It was a win that evened the season series between the two teams at a game apiece, as well as solidifying the Tarheels’ case for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, the only way for a team to enter it without winning its conference tournament. 

While spoiling Krzysewski’s going away party at Cameron Indoor Stadium was a memorable way to close the regular season for the Tarheels, the upcoming face-off presents them with the opportunity to end his career altogether. For any basketball-passionate North Carolina native, the unprecedented game will definitely be the one to look forward to Saturday.