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Watch: Paolo Banchero Avoids Saint Peter’s-UNC Prediction After Duke Earns Final Four Berth

Duke’s NCAA tournament run will continue next Saturday in a matchup against either North Carolina or Saint Peter’s in the Final Four. 

After toppling Arkansas in the Elite Eight, Blue Devils star Paolo Banchero was asked if he preferred a rematch against Duke’s most storied rival or a clash with this year’s Cinderella. The scene evoked memories of the standout’s now infamous answer to a similar question during the ACC tournament when he said he wanted to face UNC, only for both programs to lose to eventual champion Virginia Tech in the final two rounds.

Perhaps sensing a bit of déjà vu, Banchero opted to play it safe rather than tempt fate and potentially jinx Duke’s next matchup.  

“You’re not gonna get me this time,” Banchero told Tracy Wolfson of CBS Sports. “But I’m just proud of my team. We’ve been working since June for this and it’s really surreal that we’re here right now on our way to New Orleans for the Final Four. It’s a dream come true, man.”

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For most Duke fans, facing the Tar Heels for a third time and exacting some revenge for their win in Mike Krzyzewski’s final regular season game is likely the ultimate dream. Not to mention, the historic programs have never faced off in the NCAA tournament.

On the flip side, the underdog Peacocks have emerged as a national favorite amidst their own magical March Madness run. Saint Peter’s made history in its upset of Purdue by becoming the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Elite Eight.

With Duke’s place in the Final Four now solidified, the team will have to wait until Sunday night to find out who they’ll face next weekend in New Orleans.

More March Madness Coverage:

Why Saint Peter’s Is Most Improbable Cinderella of All
Saint Peter’s Is an Underdog for the Ages and Still Wants More
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Villanova’s Justin Moore Suffers Possible Lower Leg Injury in Elite Eight Win Over Houston