Duke will enter the NCAA tournament as the No. 1 overall seed Friday still trying to figure out exactly what it is and who it wants to be, and while for some teams that might be a fatal flaw, it hasn’t been for Duke.
The NC State Wolfpack fed off the atmosphere in a rare meaningful game at the university’s Reynolds Coliseum in an 84-78 first-round NIT basketball tournament win over the Hofstra Pride on Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
As impressive as the 2018-2019 college basketball season was for Virginia, Duke, UNC and the rest of the Atlantic Coast Conference, will anyone remember it if an ACC team fails to win an NCAA national title?
The late N&O columnist Caulton Tudor had his own particular way -- “going sweet” “might flop” “sentimental favorite” -- of analyzing the bracket. In his honor, we revive it again this year. And a Final Four of Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and Texas Tech.
Riding a 20-game winning streak, Wofford enters the 2019 NCAA tournament as a No. 7 seed and might face Kentucky on Saturday. But what if the Terriers had kept Zion Williamson in their shared Spartanburg hometown?
Duke and North Carolina met for the third time this season Friday night, but for the first time with Zion Williamson playing a significant role. If you didn’t care who won, this ACC tournament semifinal surpassed every expectation.
Zion Williamson’s name will be forever attached to this rivalry now, and not merely for how he bizarrely exited the first game between Duke and North Carolina but for how he dominated the third, and best of the bunch.
Only one conference, the Big East in 2009, has ever claimed three of the four No. 1 seeds for the NCAA tournament. The ACC, with three teams ranked in the top five playing in Friday night’s semifinals -- Virginia, North Carolina and Duke -- has a shot to match that feat.
Zion Williamson returned to basketball Thursday night like a blast of jet exhaust, knocking everything in its path off its feet, a performance so dominant it was almost possible to forget what the ACC had been like without him.
Markell Johnson scored the last eight points for the NC State Wolfpack in a 59-58 comeback win over the Clemson Tigers, further bolstering NC State’s NCAA tournament hopes when a loss would potentially have been fatal.
In 2018, Virginia suffered one of the most monumental upsets in college basketball history when it lost in the NCAA tournament to No. 16 seed UMBC in Charlotte. The 2019 Cavaliers are determined not to let that sort of thing happen again.