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The Final Four of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament begins Saturday with thrilling matchups between four of the nation’s top teams.
Kansas, Villanova, Duke and North Carolina have won seven of the last 13 national championships combined. Here’s everything you need to know.
This is the next chapter in a historic rivalry
The brightest game tonight is expected to be between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils, which kicks off at 8:49 p.m. ET.
The two teams have faced each other 257 times in their history but have never faced each other in the NCAA Tournament.
Famous Blue Devils manager Mike Krzyzewski is hoping to avoid a repeat of the last meeting between the two teams when the Tar Heels triumphed in Coach K’s last home game at Cameron Indoor Stadium last month.
Krzyzewski, who is the winningest coach in Division I men’s basketball history, announced he would retire at the end of the season.
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This is the 13th time Krzyzewski has taken Duke to the Final Four, passing John Wooden for the most Final Four appearances in NCAA history. Krzyzewski also won five national championships for the school during his 42 seasons as head coach and hopes to end his career on a high by joining an exclusive group of coaches who ended their careers with a championship.
On the other side of the court will be Hubert Davis of North Carolina, who led his team to a Final Four in his first season, the first head coach to do so since UNC head coach Bill Guthridge in 1998. Including Guthridge, only nine other coaches took their teams to the Final Four in their first season.
The Tar Heels ended Saint Peter’s University’s historic Cinderella run last Sunday and are also hoping to stop Duke tonight in pursuit of the school’s seventh national championship.
Can the sole No. 1 seed advance?
The start of today’s game begins at 6:09 p.m. ET and features a 2018 Final Four rematch that saw Villanova easily manage Kansas en route to the school’s third national championship.
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Kansas, which remains the tournament’s remaining No. 1 seed, is hoping to avoid a repeat of that 2018 loss and return to the national championship for the first time since 2012. Kansas last won a national championship in 2008 .
Villanova will be without second-leading scorer Justin Moore, who tore his Achilles tendon in the regional final win over Houston last week. Not only was Moore a team leader in scoring, but he was also one of the best defenders on the team.