After 258 rivalry games, North Carolina and Duke play for the biggest stakes ever as the two participants in the greatest rivalry in sports meet for the first time in the NCAA Tournament.
The second national semifinal will match the two teams to determine who faces the winner of Kansas-Villanova in Monday night’s championship game.
Duke won the ACC regular season and advanced to the ACC Tournament championship game. The Blue Devils enter the Final Four at 32-6 after winning the West Region. Duke is playing for coach Mike Krzyzewski, who will retire at season’s end. The Blue Devils blew out Cal State Fullerton in the opening round, then fought back to gut out a win over Michigan State and reach the Sweet 16. Another comeback against Texas Tech and a tight win over Arkansas sent Duke to Coach K’s record-setting 13th Final Four.
UNC struggled at times this season and appeared to be dangerously close to missing the tournament after a late-season loss to Pitt. UNC has won 10 of 11 since and entered as a No. 8 seed. The Heels blew out Marquette then upset Baylor, building a 25-point lead, giving it all back and surviving in overtime. UNC outlasted UCLA and blew out Saint Peter’s to earn the East Region and a trip to it’s record-setting 21st Final Four in program history.
Both teams are relying on their traditional starting lineups. UNC will go with Leaky Black, Caleb Love, RJ Davis, Armando Bacot and Brady Manek. Duke starts Wendell Moore Jr., Jeremy Roach, Paolo Banchero, Mark Williams and AJ Griffin.
Officials are Roger Ayers, Bo Boroski and Tony Padilla.
It looks like Kansas will be waiting for the winner of this game. Jayhawks wrapping up a wire-to-wire win over Villanova in the first game
Looks like some nerves affecting both teams early. UNC is 1-for-8. Duke 2-for-6. Blue Devils lead 4-3 at the under 16 with Bacot going to the line
Mark Williams picks up his second foul four and a half minutes in.
UNC built a six point lead, but Duke stormed back. We're tied at 12 at the under 12, despite UNC shooting just 4-of-15. Duke is battling UNC even on the boards so far.
So interesting defensive matchups. Manek has been doing the job on Banchero so far, and Banchero has been matched up with RJ Davis on several possessions.
Duke driving to the rim almost every trip down court. Blue Devils lead 21-18 at the under 8 and have an 18-4 edge in the paint
Theo John has given Duke good minutes with Williams out, but now he picks up his second foul.
RJ Davis with 12 early points, but now he picks up his second foul.
Theo John with his third.
And Theo John's fourth foul takes us to the under four. UNC has stormed back from a six-point deficit to tie it. Duke leads 28-26 at the time out with Bacot going to the line
Bacot joins the two fouls club
Duke goes back up six and UNC scores four straight. Time out Duke in the final minute. 34-32 lead with 51.7 left
Duke with the edge at the break. A Jeremy Roach three-point play puts Blue Devils on top 37-34
Both teams struggling with the sight angles in the big arena. Kansas' Ochai Agbaji went 6-for-6 from three to start the first game. Duke and Carolina are 5-of-25.
Offensive foul on Bacot in the first minute. His third
Duke builds a seven point lead but UNC storms back with 11 straight. Time out Duke. 45-41 Heels
At the under 16, UNC is up 47-44
Mark Williams picks up his third foul
Duke survived UNC's run and tied things back up. Every time it looks like the Blue Devils might pull away, UNC gets a key shot from someone. Black and Manek both hit and Duke calls time. We're tied at 55, 10:50 to go
Eight ties. 10 lead changes. Buckle in.
Mark Williams picks up his fourth.
Everything short for Duke right now. UNC outscrapping them for loose balls. Heels up by five. 62-57 at the under 8.
Duke storms back. RJ Davis picks up his fourth foul, and Duke pulls ahead at the line.
Bacot being helped to the bench with some type of leg injury
Bacot coming back in
And Bacot picks up his fourth. We go to the under four with Banchero headed to the line looking to break a 67-67 tie.
Haymaker after haymaker. Dagger after dagger. This may never end. Keels for three. Manek for three. Moore for three. Time out. 1:18 left. Duke up 74-73. UNC ball.
Bacot fouls out with 11 points and 21 rebounds.
Williams to the line with Duke down 75-74, 46.7 seconds left
Williams misses both. Love for three. Roach for two. UNC to the line leading 78-76 17.4 left
Love makes two free throws and UNC is going to win the rivalry game to end them all