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#pounditSunday, July 21, 2024

North Carolina savagely ends Coach K’s Duke career in epic game

North Carolina celebrates

Duke and North Carolina on Saturday met in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in history, and the game not only met all the hype, it exceeded it.

There were numerous lead changes, several big shots and tons of nail-biting moments. But in the end, it was the Tar Heels who prevailed. North Carolina not only spoiled Mike Krzyzewski’s final home game at Duke, but then they also ended his coaching career with an 81-77 victory over the Blue Devils in the Final Four.

The hero of the game was Caleb Love, who scored 28 points on 11/20 shooting. The sophomore guard was unafraid of the spotlight. He made a massive 3-pointer with 28 seconds left to turn things into a two-possession game.

He also added the final dagger by making both of his free throws with 8 seconds left to push North Carolina’s lead to four points.

The Tar Heels beat the Blue Devils on the glass, pulling down 50 rebounds. The other big difference in the game was the 3-point shooting. North Carolina went 10/26 (38.5 percent), while Duke was just 5/22 (22.7 percent).

In a year when it felt like Duke was destined to win the championship in Coach K’s final year, it was rival North Carolina that was there to step in as the spoiler. Duke only lost seven times all season. Two of those losses came to North Carolina, and they came in extremely big moments — Coach K’s final home game, and his final game of the season.

What a heartbreaking way for Duke and Coach K’s season to end. And what a great game they gave us.

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