The basketball gods could not have written a better Final Four showdown than the true final meeting between a Mike-Krzyzewski-led Duke Blue Devils team and its heated ACC rival in the North Carolina Tar Heels. Duke has relatively dominated its opponents in the tournament thus far, but will face its stiffest competition yet in the Tar Heels, who’ve had the Blue Devils’ number of late.
Nitrobetting is ready to dish out some timely assists to our bettors all throughout the March Madness season. This time, let’s highlight three keys to victory for the Duke Blue Devils in Saturday’s highly-anticipated 2022 March Madness Final Four matchup against the North Carolina Tar Heels.
3 Keys for the Duke Blue Devils to Win 2022 Final Four Matchup vs. Kansas
WEST CHAMPS 🕺🕺🕺🕺 pic.twitter.com/MkeDfSjEPD— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) March 27, 2022
Don’t Let the Rivalry Consume You
College hoops fans will be treated to a moment in history this Saturday when Duke and UNC square off for one last time with head coach Mike Krzyzewski still running the show in Durham. While Coach K is in line to have a storybook ending to his decorated career with a sixth national championship win, it doesn’t get any tougher than having to beat the pesky Tar Heels in the Final Four of all stages.
Duke has won just one game over its last four meetings against North Carolina. The team’s latest defeat was embarrassing, to say the least, as the Heels came away with a 13-point rout on the Devils’ own home court in the regular-season finale. Then again, Duke did rout UNC by 20 points earlier in the regular season as well, making Saturday’s rubber match as unpredictable as it should be.
Banchero Must Continue to Shine
Few players in this year’s edition of the Big Dance have been as electric and consistent as freshman guard Paolo Banchero. The reigning ACC Rookie and Player of the Year is averaging 17.1 points per game this season and has converted 53 percent of his three-point attempts in the national tournament (8-of-15 across four games).
There are many other key names to be on the lookout for in this stacked Blue Devils squad like Wendell Moore (13.5 PPG, 50.8 FG%) and Mark Williams (11.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 71.9 FG%). However, Duke’s potent offense will not run as smoothly if Banchero has an off night at the worst possible time.
Prove that Duke’s Offense is Still Better than UNC’s
In terms of raw scoring numbers, the Tar Heels can certainly compete with Duke. The Blue Devils have scored no fewer than 78 points in each of their four games in the national tournament, whereas North Carolina has a couple of 90-point outings to start the tourney.
On the other hand, Duke has shot 50 percent or better in each of its last four outings at the Big Dance and eight of the team’s last 12 games in general. UNC went 0-6 this season when its opponent shot over 50 percent from the floor, and there’s no indication yet that the Blue Devils’ offense will buck their efficient trend on the attack.
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