North Carolina Beats Duke 81-77 in Final Four Instant Classic

by Jonathan Howard
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This game gave us everything we wanted and more. Duke and North Carolina met in the Final Four and the Tar Heels were victorious. When rivals meet up in the NCAA Tournament, it can be special. However, moments like this don’t happen all that often. In fact, this had never happened before until now.

What a night. Coach K in his last game. Hubert Davis taking his Tar Heels squad to a surprising and thrilling postseason run. All the drama, all the history, what all was at stake, it all added up into what was one of the most legendary games in NCAA history.

There was some foul trouble, there were all kinds of ties and lead changes. At one point, Armando Bacot went down with an ankle injury. He came back in and played more valuable minutes for UNC. First-year coach Hubert Davis relied heavily on his starting lineup. All but two (2) points scored for the Heels came from the starting five.

Like this bucket.

Duke kept to a tight rotation as well. They played about seven guys and that was it. A big game from their star and possible No. 1 NBA Draft pick, Paolo Banchero, fueled the Blue Devils. Trevor Keels showed up and showed out as well in the matchup.

This was a game that had North Carolina up big in the rebound margin. Almost a +10 advantage in cleaning the glass. Bacot had more than 20 rebounds on his own! However, turnovers kept Duke in this game.

North Carolina Beats Duke in the Final Four, Will Take on Kansas in National Championship Game

This Final Four was a battle of the blue bloods. Villanova and Kansas. Duke and North Carolina. It was a Final Four that represented some of the best teams of the last 20 years. Kansas was able to impressively take down Nova. The Jayhawks are headed back to the national title game. And, now with North Carolina taking down their biggest rival on the biggest stage, we have our last matchup of the season.

Tar Heels. Jayhawks. This is going to be a moment that college basketball fans remember for a long, long time. Tobacco Road is never going to let this story die. The battle of Banchero and Bacot. Those Tar Heels figuring it out at the right time and having a postseason like few before.

This might have not ended the way many thought it would. However, for fans of basketball and fans of college sports, this was a dream come true. A game that will go down in history. Coach K’s career is over. Hubert Davis reigns supreme and will look to start a dynasty of his own. If you missed this game, I’m so sorry for you. 81-77, Tar Heels.

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