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And It’s Over: UNC Knocks Duke Out Of The Final Four, 81-77

A sad game for Duke but we have much to be proud of.

North Carolina v Duke
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - APRIL 02: Trevor Keels #1 of the Duke Blue Devils walks off the court after being defeated by the North Carolina Tar Heels 81-77 in the second half of the game during the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four semifinal at Caesars Superdome on April 02, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

We thought Duke would win this one and more so after Armando Bacot went down late. When Mark Williams had a chance to put Duke up at the line, we thought he would hit them.

We wish he had. But we’re not angry or anything like it.

We’re grateful to have witnessed one of the great eras of college basketball. What Mike Krzyzewski did in Durham is beyond belief. He took a very good program and made it the best. We’ve lived in an absolute golden age for decades. Disappointed to lose to UNC in the Final Four?

Of course.

Sad it’s all over?

Obviously.

Proud of Duke?

Without question. We’re proud of every Devil. Proud of Wendell Moore for his remarkable growth. Proud of Mark Williams for becoming a phenomenal presence. Proud of Paolo Banchero for all of his remarkable talents and the heart he showed down the stretch. Proud of Jeremy Roach for his incredible post-season play.

We’re proud of the entire team but could we also say a special word about Theo John? He came in for one year and embraced everything. He’s been a beautiful addition to this team.

The truth is though that UNC showed more heart Saturday night. A lot of things went against them. Duke controlled Brady Manek for most of the game and limited Bacot. They picked off the ball a fair amount.

In the end, though, UNC had a little more and will play Monday night.

As we said before the game, we thought the team that emerged from the first game would have an advantage because of the nature of the Duke-UNC rivalry. Kansas had an easier game against Villanova and showed us a startling defense. We didn’t know they could play at that level.

UNC expended an enormous amount of energy and Bacot’s ankle is likely to hurt Sunday and Monday.

Still, given the heart they’ve shown to date, you can’t completely rule out one more big game.

Jim will be along soon with his take.

Poll

Player Of The Game vs. UNC

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Wendell Moore
    (39 votes)
  • 1%
    AJ Griffin
    (11 votes)
  • 44%
    Paolo Banchero
    (485 votes)
  • 2%
    Mark Williams
    (31 votes)
  • 1%
    Jeremy Roach
    (16 votes)
  • 12%
    Theo John
    (135 votes)
  • 34%
    Trevor Keels
    (379 votes)
1096 votes total Vote Now