North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Duke Blue Devils / 2022 NCAA Tournament Final Four Predictions & Preview

North Carolina vs. Duke / 2022 NCAA Tournament Final Four Predictions & Preview

North Carolina and Duke have one of the most storied rivalries in all of the sports, and they’ll meet for the first time in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. In New Orleans, both teams will look to punch their ticket to the national championship game.

However, that’s just one of several storylines that’ll be discussed in the buildup to this Final Four game between ACC powerhouses. All of your Final Four picks can be made at any of these top ranked sportsbooks.

Game Prediction

This game will be a pure spectacle from start to finish, as these bitter rivals battle it out with so much on the line. The team that’s best able to handle the pressure in the second half will come away with this one.

Given that they’re an eight-seed and playing with house money, so to speak, that team will be North Carolina. You can make any of your Final Four wagers at Draftkings.

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North Carolina Tar Heels Overview

The North Carolina Tar Heels advanced to the Final Four as an eight-seed in the East region, taking out St. Peter’s in the Elite Eight to get to New Orleans. While the Tar Heels were fortunate to draw a 15-seed in the Elite Eight, their wins over Baylor and UCLA in the prior two rounds proved they’re more than deserving of a Final Four spot. Now they’ll look to prove they belong in the national championship game.

North Carolina has beaten Duke once already this season, defeating them in Mike Krzyzewski’s final game as Duke’s coach at Cameron Indoor Stadium. But it’s also worth noting that North Carolina was beaten by 20 by that same Duke team at home earlier in the year. For that reason, the Tar Heels are designated as a four-point underdog coming into this national semifinal showdown.

One question worth asking for the Tar Heels coming into this contest is how Hubert Davis will handle coaching in his first Final Four. Davis has done a spectacular job so far in this tournament, especially down the stretch against Baylor amidst multiple ejections of his players. But a Final Four game against one of the most legendary coaches in the history of sports will be a big test for him on Saturday night.

Duke Blue Devils Overview

After struggling at the end of the regular season and falling in the final of the ACC Tournament, Duke’s now just two wins away from a national championship. They beat Michigan State, Texas Tech, and Arkansas in their last three games to reach the Final Four, with Gonzaga being upset before a potential rematch in the Elite Eight. Now, Duke will look to get revenge on their biggest rival to put Mike Krzyzewski just a win away from his storybook ending.

If the Blue Devils are going to avenge their loss at home against North Carolina, they’ll need to do a better job in the turnover department than they did in their last meeting with the Tar Heels. Duke had a reasonable nine turnovers against North Carolina in their last game against one another, but they only forced five Tar Heel turnovers in that game. Duke can’t afford to allow North Carolina as many possessions that end in shots at the basket here given how well the Tar Heels are playing offensively.

While North Carolina will have to deal with pressure related to their relatively new head coach, Duke will have to deal with pressure related to their veteran coach. No player wants to be the reason that Mike Krzyzewski’s career ends with anything less than a championship. It’ll be interesting to see if there are any nerves related to that situation, should this game be close down the stretch.

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Ryan has been one of the leading sports business & iGaming professionals for over 15 years. He started as a freelance writer and now operates one of the top sports content agencies around, Knup Solutions. He has literally written 10,000 plus sports and betting-related articles across the web. Just search his name and you will see some of the work he has submitted to top iGaming sites.

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