Sport: Opinion: Let's hope we get a fourth Duke-North Carolina meeting in the NCAA tournament - PressFrom - US
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SportOpinion: Let's hope we get a fourth Duke-North Carolina meeting in the NCAA tournament

08:05  16 march  2019
08:05  16 march  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Luke DeCock: Despite Virginia's excellence, still more than enough on the line for Duke, UNC

Luke DeCock: Despite Virginia's excellence, still more than enough on the line for Duke, UNC Thanks for nothing, Virginia. If it weren't for the Cavaliers and their infuriating persistent and consistent excellence, the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament and the regular-season title would be indisputably on the line Saturday. Alas, such matters are only at hand between North Carolina and Duke if Virginia loses to Louisville earlier Saturday, which would deliver the top seed to the Duke-Carolina winner in Chapel Hill, N.C. Unlikely. But possible.

Duke and North Carolina will open the NCAA tournament in Greenville, S .C., instead of Greensboro, N . C ., because of the controversial "bathroom bill" But in the same press release announcing what cities got North Carolina ’ s tournament games, the NCAA stated its announcement was “projected

The University of North Carolina is third, with six national titles, and Duke University and Indiana University are tied for fourth with five national In the men' s tournament , all sites are nominally neutral; teams are prohibited from playing tournament games on their home courts prior to the Final

CHARLOTTE — Consider this a plea to the basketball gods, a prayer to the cosmic keepers of The Bracket.

Three times seeing Duke-North Carolina this season is not enough.

Over the many years of your tournament in its various forms and field sizes, never have we had an opportunity to see these two great Tobacco Road rivals play in a Final Four. In an event that has given us everything from the randomness of VCU-Butler to the unbridled heat of Louisville-Kentucky, it’s high time we get a chance to see Duke-North Carolina playing for everything.

Duke not expecting Zion Williamson to play vs. North Carolina, Mike Krzyzewski says

Duke not expecting Zion Williamson to play vs. North Carolina, Mike Krzyzewski says “I have to be careful not to push this,” Krzyzewski said, via The Athletic. “I’d be surprised if he’s not ready by the ACC Tournament.” Krzyzewski said the team will definitely get Williamson back at some point this season. "He'll be in some basketball workouts now," Krzyzewski said, via ESPN. "That's a really good sign for us. For me, it's a great sign." Williamson originally suffered the injury less than 40 seconds into Duke’s first matchup against North Carolina on Feb. 20. The Blue Devils have gone 3-2 in his absence, including an 88-72 loss to the Tar Heels.

North Carolina lost to Duke in the ACC Tournament Finals and made a significant run in the NCAA Tournament until they were eliminated in the Kansas later fell to Kentucky 67-59 in the National Championship Game. Before the Kansas game, the Tar Heels won their previous three games in the

North Carolina , Duke are the among the early favorites by Las Vegas oddsmakers to win the NCAA tournament as March Madness gets underway. Duke , the No. 2 seed in the East Region and No. 7 overall, was atop the odds (5-1) posted by the Westgate Las Vegas Sportsbook, while Kentucky was

So why not now — or, more specifically, three weeks from now in Minneapolis? If it’s anything like Friday, when Duke held on for a 74-73 victory in the ACC tournament semifinals, it is more than worthy of your consideration.

“I’m not going to say like, ‘Oh my God, I hope we play them again,' ” Duke freshman Zion Williamson said, splashing a dose of cold water on the prospect. “I’m not going to start no extra drama. They’re a great team. If we see them, we see them. If not, oh well.”

But as Williamson’s put-back off his own miss gave Duke the lead for the final time with 31 seconds left and North Carolina forward Cam Johnson couldn’t make a hurried jumper as time ran out, it felt like there was still some unfinished business.

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Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. He might not live in the White House any longer, but former President Barack Obama can still pick an NCAA bracket. And ACC fans will be thrilled with his projection.

The Zags they let UNC get out in transition and Pinson deposits a quick lay-up that snaps a four -minute scoring drought and a run of eight unanswered points for the Bulldogs. North Carolina has advanced to the national championship game for the second tournament in a row.

Opinion: Virginia shows little evidence this March will be different from past failures

Duke can say it might have won either or both of the first two meetings against North Carolina had Williamson not been forced out with a knee injury. North Carolina can say it might have swept three in a row had it not suffered an uncharacteristically poor 4-for-27 shooting performance from the 3-point line.

Of all the years North Carolina and Duke have played each other while both were highly ranked, this season as much as any feels like we need to see it one more time to get the final word.

“Zion did have a big influence on the game,” said Tar Heels coach Roy Williams, who has been noticeably miffed by questions suggesting his team should apologize in some way for not playing Duke at full strength until Friday. “But injuries are part of the game as well. I can go back and many times tell you that we have had injuries that really hurt us and Zion being hurt really hurt Duke, but it was still Duke-North Carolina. He made some big-time plays down the stretch that they didn’t have the last couple of games.”

Duke named No. 1 overall seed in NCAA Tournament

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North Carolina and Duke meet in the NCAA tournament . Understand, there are NCAA national championship trophies on display in both states, just no games. This is compared to the 257 tournament games played in the state of North Carolina .

The 2017 NCAA Division I Men' s Basketball Tournament involved 68 teams playing in a single-elimination tournament to determine the men' s National Collegiate Athletic Association ( NCAA ) Division I college basketball national champion for the 2016–17 season.

You could argue he might have made more had Duke committed to ensuring Williamson touched the ball on every possession, which probably would have been a good idea considering he made 13-of-19 field goals for 31 points and was too strong and agile for North Carolina’s bigs to guard him the post.

Duke, being the young team that it is, did not maximize that advantage. Over the final nine minutes, Williamson made 4-of-6 field goals, while his teammates made just 1-of-9, not to mention R.J. Barrett missed two free throws with 12 seconds remaining that handed North Carolina guard Coby White a chance to win it (he didn’t, missing a desperate 3-pointer).

That sequence underscored the idea that Duke isn’t a team of three freshmen stars the way it was billed back in October. This is Williamson’s team. He’s the best scorer, the best passer and the best defender (he bothered Luke Maye and Nassir Little enough to force two key misses near the rim down the stretch).

Duke is an above-average team without him; it is a clear No. 1 seed and national title favorite with him. And because of that poorly timed injury back on Feb. 20 in the opening minute of the first Duke-UNC meeting, we were robbed of the opportunity to see these two terrific championship contenders play at relatively full strength until Friday.

President Obama Reveals 2019 Bracket, Picks Duke, UConn to Win Men's and Women's Tournaments

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NCAA tournament games were moved from North Carolina due to the controversial House Bill 2. Now they'll be returning after amending the law and the NCAA announcing its first-round sites for future games. Share This Story! Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about.

If archrivals Duke or North Carolina lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament , odds are, brackets are busted. The Blue Devils and Tar Heels Kansas will kick Final Four wall down. Back-to-back Elite Eight appearances would be a breakthrough for just about any program in the country.

“Both historic programs going at it,” Barrett said. “They kept coming at us, and we kept going at them all game long. Such a fun game to be in.”

And to watch. So let’s do it again, shall we?

That may not be a terribly popular idea in this state, where the underlying emotion of this rivalry might run too deep to maintain sanity. A Final Four meeting might be too big, too important to make it enjoyable.

But for the rest of us, another crack at Duke-North Carolina is exactly what we deserve. So make it happen, basketball gods. While we usually trust you to do right by the bracket, in this particular year, nothing less than Part Four at the Final Four will do.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion: Let's hope we get a fourth Duke-North Carolina meeting in the NCAA tournament

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