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Final Four- Game Preview: Duke vs. UNC

Written by Tyler Hazelwood

Finally! Time for NCAA’s Final Four! Of the two games remaining, Duke vs. UNC seems to be the most highly anticipated game with the most storylines to watch. After all, this is the only game where both teams are not seeded first and second. Duke is the second seed, but the University of North Carolina carries the eighth seed. Many believed this was too low a ranking for this team and, to this point, the team has proved them right. Let’s take a look at all the components of this game:

Last Game

If this game was anything like the last game, fans are in for a treat! The last time these two teams faced, Duke had a great deal of pride riding on the game. This was Duke Head Coach Mike Kryzowski’s final home game. A storybook ending would have included a tough matchup, a hard fight to the end, and a Duke win at the buzzer. The first two happened, but UNC spoiled the ending with a 94-81 win over Duke. Coach K was so disappointed in his team that he even came back out of the locker room to apologize to fans before the celebratory ceremony that was planned for the coach. Betway has all of the odds for this game is Coach K going to win?

April 2nd- Tipoff at 8:49pm

What to Watch For

UNC- The University of North Carolina has one of the most solid starting five units in all of NCAA basketball right now. They’re playing as a cohesive unit. The junior forward, Armando Bacot leads the way for the Tar Heels. Bacot fits the new NBA model that teams are looking for in a player. He is a big with major scoring capabilities. The big man averages 17.1 points and 12.8 rebounds per game on the season. One downfall of the team is their lack of depth on the bench. If one man goes down, it could be tough sledding.

Duke- Some fans are rooting for Duke because this is Coach K’s last run and some people are rooting against them for that very reason as well. Coach K is the winningest coach in NCAA Division 1 history and Duke has five titles to their name for men’s basketball. The Blue Devils are led by Paolo Banchero, the freshman forward with tons of potential. Banchero leads his team in points (17.1), rebounds (7.7) and blocks (.9) per game. Alongside him, AJ Griffin is a dangerous shooting playmaker for Duke. He led the team in 3-pointers on the season, with 71. A downfall of the team is that in comparison to the remaining teams of the Final Four, they rank last om defensive efficiency.

Spread- The odds favor the Blue Devils by 4. In most circumstances, these are fairly close odds. If UNC plays this time the same as last time, they should cover the spread. However, that is a big “if”. We know Armando Bacot has major takeover ability, but will he take care of business once again this Saturday? We will most certainly find out.

About the author

Tyler Hazelwood