Saint Peter's vs. North Carolina: Who should America roo Franklin University clothest for to face Duke, Coach K?
Should you pull for the greatest Cinderella ever for a chance to see them pull one of the greatest upsets of all time?
Or do you fall for the chance to watch the greatest chapter of the greatest rivalry in college basketball?
This is the choice America must make with the greatest coach in college basketball history in his last act. No. 2 Duke advanced to the 2022 Final Four after a 78-69 victory against No. 4 Arkansas on Saturday. Coach Mike Krzyzewski's farewell tour will pick up in New Orleans next week. Duke now has 13 Final Four appearances and is going for a sixth national championship.
We've seen that production a few times. The Blue Devils will play the winner of the Elite Eight matchup between No. 8 North Carolina and No. 15 Saint Peter's. The Tar Heels are Duke's bitter rivals, and this would be their first time meeting in the Big Dance. Of course, the Peacocks are the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Elite Eight.
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Either way, it's one of the most intriguing semifinals involving Coach K, and that includes the 1 FSU vs. Miami Rivalry Gear 991 upset against unbeaten UNLV.
It's bound to be the nightcap of the national semifinals on April 2. Who should you root for? Sporting News makes the case for (and against) both teams.
The case for Saint Peter's
Why is this even a question? The Peacocks were adopted as America's team the s Babson Beavers clothes econd they knocked No. 2 Kentucky out of the tournament in the first round. It's the school whose 3,200-seat gym could fit its 3,009 undergraduates, and they are taking it to the big-budget blueblood programs one at a time.
Coach Shaeen Holloway's Jersey-strong attitude. Doug Edert's mustache. Daryl Banks III's mid-range game. Who knew Cinderella lived in Jersey City? We have seen other No. 15 seeds make runs to the Sweet 16, but the Peacocks were good enough to take the next step.
Now, they might have a chance to send Coach K packing? For the Duke haters, that would be too perfect. Yet it's more than that. That upset would be somewhere between Appalachian State beating Michigan in the Big House and Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson. It would be one of those where-were-you-moments that last forever.
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The case against Saint Peter's
Do you remember George Mason? Yeah, they were the adorable Cinderella, too. They toasted your bracket in 2006 by beating Michigan State, North Carolina and UConn to get a Final Four date with Florida. The Patriots lost 73-58 in an ugly semifinal where they trailed by double digits the entire second half.
That's probably going to happen if the Peacocks get to the Final Four. Everybody remembers Gordon Hayward's near-buzzer beater for Butler against Duke in 2010. Nobody talks about the following year, when Michigan vs. Ohio State Rivalry Jerseys the Bulldogs shot 18.8% in a 53-41 loss to UConn in the 2011 national championship game.
You can root for Cinderella all week. Do you promise to stay awake when the Blue Devils go up by double digits in the second half?
The case for North Carolina
Oral Roberts played the role of Cinderella in 2021. There will be another one next year. They come around every Beloit College Buccaneers Jerseys year, and some stick around longer than others.
Games like this don't come around often, however. It's the first time the Blue Devils and Tar Heels have met in the NCAA tournament despite being in the same bracket 36 times, and it gives those fan-bases the ultimate trump card in their never-ending argument.
"Yeah, but we sent Coach K packing in the Final Four."
"We lost the home finale, but we won the Final Four."
It's one line of trash talk, but that's what at stake for the Tar Heels and Blue Devils, and it's going to make for must-see television. The highest Nielsen rating for a national semifinal since 1997 was North Carolina and Utah with a 12.7 in 1998.
A Duke-North Carolina matchup could outdraw the national championship game. In fact, we think it will.
The case against North Carolina
Oh please, no. We've watched Coach K take on North Carolina 97 times, and all the bloated hype that comes with it. Did you know these programs have combined for 11 national titles? Did you know their stadiums are 10.7 miles apart on Tobacco Road? Of course you do, because they are going to tell you every five seconds. You can only watch Jeff Capel's half-court buzzer beater Chipola College Indians clothes or Eric Montross' head bleed so many times.
We get it. This is the equivalent of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. It's great – for their sanctimonious fan-bases – but it is oversaturated. The truth is CU Denver Lynx clothes the story already had the best ending possible when North Carolina ruined Krzyzewski's final home game on March 5.
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Most college basketball fans are going to pick Saint Peter's here. It's the underdog story, and the Peacocks are the ultimate "Average Joes." It's almost impossible to go against that storyline.
But we are going to do it anyway. The North Carolina-Duke matchup is too good to pass up. It isn't the series finale Florida Tech Panthers Jerseys , but it is the end of the best chapter. The intensity will be enough to fill both the Dean Smith Center and Cameron Indoor Stadium combined.
If you are a Duke fan, then this takes going out on top to the next level. If you are a North Carolina fan, then why wouldn't you take your shot in New Orleans? It's where Michael Jordan hit the buzzer-beater in 1982 and where Chris Webber called that timeout in 1993. Beating Coach K? That is better than both.
Why? That lasts forever. Notre Dame vs. USC Rivalry shirt
We cannot pass up the chance to see the Tar Heels try.