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No. 2 Duke vs. No 8 UNC preview, picks for Men’s Final Four in 2022 NCAA Tournament

The Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tarheels meet in the Final Four of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament West Regional-Arkansas vs Duke Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most highly-anticipated college basketball games of all time will take place on Saturday night in New Orleans when the No. 2 seed Duke Blue Devils take on the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels in the Final Four. This will be the first time these two rivals meet in the NCAA Tournament as North Carolina looks to end Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski era with a loss.

The game will tip off at approximately 8:49 p.m. ET from Caesars Superdome and will air on TBS with the Blue Devils as the favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook.

No. 2 Duke: 32-6 (16-4 ACC)

Tournament history

First round result: Won over CSUF, 78-61
Second round result: Won over Michigan State, 85-76
Sweet 16: Won over Texas Tech, 78-73
Elite Eight: Won over Arkansas, 78-69

Team ratings

KenPom rating: 7 Overall, 1 Offense, 45 Defense
NET ranking: 12, (6-2 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Paolo Banchero (17.1 ppg)
Key stat: Duke won their last three contests by less than 10 points.

The Duke Blue Devils kept the Krzyzewski era going with a 78-69 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks last weekend in the Elite Eight round. The Blue Devils were in control for the entire second half and played well, holding off the Razorbacks to get to this spot.

Paolo Banchero leads the team in points (17.1) and rebounds (7.7) per game with consistent scoring numbers all season long.

Watch for Duke to try to beat North Carolina in a variety of different ways with the potential of five players to be selected in the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft.

No. 8 UNC: 25-9 (15-5 ACC)

Tournament history

First round result: Won over Marquette, 96-63
Second round result: Won over Baylor, 93-86 in overtime
Sweet 16: Won over UCLA 73-66
Elite Eight: Won over Saint Peter’s, 69-49

Team ratings

KenPom rating: 16 Overall, 18 Offense, 39 Defense
NET ranking: 31, (3-8 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Armando Bacot (16.5 ppg)
Key stat: North Carolina ranks No. 6 nationally in rebounding margin.

The North Carolina Tar Heels put an end to the Saint Peter’s Peacocks run with a 69-49 victory in the Elite Eight round in a matchup that was never close with North Carolina jumping out to a 9-0 lead.

Armando Bacot continues to put up ridiculous numbers and went for 20 points and 22 rebounds against Saint Peter’s. He now 29 double-doubles on the season including six consecutive games of reaching that mark.

Watch for North Carolina to push the pace as they come into this matchup rated No. 39 nationally in KenPom’s adjusted tempo.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Duke -4
Point total: 151
Moneyline: Duke -190, North Carolina +160

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Duke -4
Point total pick: Over 151
Pick to Win: Duke

North Carolina cannot stop the way they’ve been playing all season long, but their quick pace will be a disadvantage on Saturday night. Duke’s roster is loaded with NBA talent, and North Carolina is not there yet. More possession plays in Duke’s favor and when you combine the Tar Heels’ style with the Blue Devils top-rated offense, the over is a good play.

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