The 2022 Final Four brought us one of the more anticipated fields in recent memory, with the highlight between the first-ever meeting between bitter rivals Duke and North Carolina. Through one half of play on Saturday in New Orleans, we have the fight everyone expected on our hands with the Blue Devils taking a 37-34 lead into the locker room.
Leading the way through the first 20 minutes for the Blue Devils has been stud freshman Paolo Banchero, who has dropped in 10 points along with six rebounds. For the Tar Heels, RJ Davis has carried the load to the tune of 14 points.
This is a meeting of historic proportions, and we're 20 minutes away from one of these rivals moving on to face Kansas in the NCAA championship game on Monday night.
How to watch Duke vs. North Carolina
Date: Saturday, April 2 | Time: 8:49 p.m. ET
Location: Caesars Superdome -- New Orleans
TV: TBS | Live stream: March Madness Live
Duke vs. North Carolina: Need to Knows
About the Blue Devils: For Mike Krzyzewski to walk off the court in New Orleans as a national champion for the sixth time, closing his career with a title, would be among the best stories in all of American sports. Duke's expectation is to compete at a high level and be in a position to win two games in the Final Four and do so, and there's plenty of evidence to suggest they've got what it takes. Beating two of the best defensive teams in the NCAA Tournament eliminates the idea that there's some secret to stopping Duke's success, which means the onus is on the coaches and players to be in position to make history. -- Chip Patterson
About the Tar Heels: According to BartTorvik.com, where you can not only check out season-long adjusted efficiency numbers but also sort the data set by date, North Carolina is the No. 1 team in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency since March 1. The seven-game run is absolutely up for critique because of the small sample size, but it backs up what our eyes have told us as well. North Carolina may not be the absolute No. 1 team in the country right now, but it's been playing as well as the best teams in the country since the calendar turned 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 check in as the No. 29 to No. 32 team in the field of 68. Still, the task of winning the next game is the largest at hand. Duke will be uniquely motivated having learned the lessons of how this current version of the Tar Heels handle business, and this time the pomp and circumstance is going to be evenly divided and not one-sided. After being 11-point underdogs in Durham, now it's North Carolina that has to handle expectations of being ready to compete on a big stage. . -- Patterson
Duke vs. North Carolina: Predictions
Duke and North Carolina split the regular-season series, but UNC played spoiler in its win beyond winning on Duke's home court. That's because the Tar Heels' win came in Coach K's finale at Cameron Indoor. So as silly and cliche as it sounds, the revenge narrative for Duke here makes me a believer. Likely to be a close one -- almost certainly will be a close one -- but Blue Devils by a field goal feels 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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