#8 North Carolina vs. #2 Duke NCAA Basketball Best Bet for Final Four Matchup

#8 North Carolina vs. #2 Duke | NCAA Basketball Best Bet for Final Four Matchup

The best rivalry in NCAA basketball is clearly North Carolina vs. Duke yet somehow two of the sport’s most successful programs have never met in the NCAA Tournament. That changes on Saturday night from New Orleans in the second game of the Final Four. Duke is favored on the NCAAB odds to advance to Monday’s title game vs. either Villanova or Kansas.

How to Bet North Carolina vs. Duke NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Series History

Under Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke leads the series with North Carolina, 50-47, but the Tar Heels lead the overall series, 142-115. The teams split this season, winning easily on each other’s court. Coach K’s finale home game at Duke was a 94-81 loss on March 5. Armando Bacot scored 23 points and the Tar Heels shot 59% after halftime. Freshman Paolo Banchero scored 23 points for the Blue Devils, who shot just 42% after halftime as the Tar Heels took over. It marked the first time an unranked North Carolina team had beaten a top-5 Duke team in Cameron since 1990.The teams have combined for 11 NCAA Tournament titles and are the top two teams by winning percentage in NCAA Tournament history. The only other postseason game the teams played other than conference tournaments was in 1971, when the Tar Heels defeated the Blue Devils in the NIT semifinals.

Why Bet on North Carolina?

The Heels (28-9) crushed Saint Peter’s 69-49 in the Elite Eight. The game was never in doubt once UNC led 7-0. The 49 points were the fewest allowed by Carolina in 28 regional finals. Previous low was 55 by Tulsa in 2000 (the other time UNC won a regional final as a No. 8 seed).Armando Bacot tied the UNC record for rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game with 22 and had a game-high 20 points to post the second 20/20 game by a Tar Heel in NCAA Tournament history. Tyler Zeller had also had 20 points and 22 rebounds vs. Ohio in the Sweet 16 in 2012.Bacot’s double-double was his 29th of the season, which ties the all-time ACC single-season record with Tim Duncan of Wake Forest in 1996-97. Bacot is assured of leading the nation in double-doubles this season. He is the only player in the Final Four with at least 29, which is one more than Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe. Bacot has 63 rebounds in four NCAA Tournament games this season. Only Kennedy Meeks (69 in six games in 2017), Pete Brennan (67 in five games in1957) and Sean May (64 in six games in 2005) ever had more in one tournament. Antawn Jamison also had 63 in six games in 1998.Carolina has the highest scoring margin (16.5 points), second-largest rebound margin (+12.2), third-most assists per game (19.2) and third-most three-pointers (10.0 per game) in the 2022 NCAA Tournament.The win was Carolina’s 130th in NCAA Tournament play, most all-time. Only four schools have played in more NCAA Tournament games than Carolina has won (Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and UCLA).UNC advanced to its 21st Final Four, the most of any school in NCAA history. Carolina is the only school to play in the Final Four in nine consecutive decades (1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s). Hubert Davis becomes the 10th to lead a team to the Final Four in his first season as a college head coach. Davis will also become just the second individual to play in a Final Four game and be the head coach in a Final Four at the same school. Davis will join Dick Harp, who played for Kansas in the 1940 Final Four and was head coach of the Jayhawks in 1957.

Why Bet on Duke?

Of course, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is retiring after this season. How crazy would it be for Coach K’s career to end in a loss to bitter rival North Carolina?The Dukies (30-6) beat Arkansas 78-69 in the Elite Eight. The Blue Devils used a 10-0 second half run to pull away and send Krzyzewski to his NCAA-record 13th Final Four, surpassing the legendary John Wooden (12). The Blue Devils maintained a double-digit lead from the 11:29 mark of the second half all the way until the final minute. Krzyzewski is 9-3 in national semifinal games. Duke is 11-5 in the semifinals overall.Sophomore Mark Williams recorded his 12th double-double this season with 12 points and 12 rebound on 6-of-6 shooting from the field and three blocked shots. Williams has now blocked 16 shots in this NCAA Tournament, tying Shane Battier’s 16 in 2001 for the most blocks in a single NCAA Tournament by a Blue Devil. Williams is shooting .806 from the field (25-of-31) through four games in the NCAA Tournament, which stands as the best field goal percentage by a Blue Devil in a single NCAA Tournament (min. 25 field goals).Williams’ .719 field goal percentage is second on Duke’s single-season list. He would lead the nation, but falls just short of the minimum five field goals per game to qualify (4.9).  Williams is the nation’s only player shooting .700+ from the field and .700+ free throws (min. 150 FG). Since at least 1992-93, only one other player in college basketball has posted a similar statline.Freshman AJ Griffin scored a team high 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 2-of-3 from three-point range. Duke is now 21-2 this season when Griffin scores in double figures. Fellow freshman Paolo Banchero scored 16 points, including 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Banchero’s versatility has been the catalyst for Duke’s rise — the Blue Devils are 13-2 in their past 15 games — in recent weeks. In the NCAA tournament, Banchero is 8-for-15 (53%) from beyond the arc.Duke won the West Regional, defeating two of the nation’s best defensive teams — Texas Tech and Arkansas — averaging 78.0 points and shooting .533 from the field in its two wins in San Francisco.Junior Wendell Moore Jr., is averaging 10. 8 points, 6.1 rebounds and shooing .547 in six career games vs. the Tar Heels … Moore hit one of the more memorable shots in the Duke-UNC series as his tip-in at the buzzer in overtime handed Duke a 98-96 victory at the Dean Dome in his freshman season.

Game Trends

  • Tar Heels are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games.
  • Tar Heels are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Tar Heels are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
  • Tar Heels are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS win.
  • Blue Devils are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 Saturday games.
  • Blue Devils are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.

Expert Prediction

  • Duke 78, UNC 76

 

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